#FailFriday: McDonald’s and the Arch Deluxe

mcdonalds arch deluxe


By Thomas Lashier

The Golden Arches…yummm. Are you loving it? Chance are you’ve eaten at a McDonald’s once or twice in your life. Hell, you could very well be sitting in one right now as you’re reading this. But this week’s #FailFriday spotlight falls on the Mac Shack, another industry giant that couldn’t escape a bad marketing misstep (the last two weeks featured Apple and Pepsi).

McDonald’s is known the world over for bringing hot, tasty hamburgers to the masses. They offer inexpensive food at breakneck speeds for the convenience of the customer. They are masters of the “Dollar Menu” and own the fast food industry by offering their food at a significant value. So why would McDonald’s want to reach outside it’s core competency to give customers the Arch Deluxe?

In 1996, the Arch Deluxe debuted as a large hamburger patty on a soft potato-flour roll, with lettuce, tomato and a fancy mustard/mayo combo sauce. The burger was positioned as an “adult” sandwich with a “grown-up” price; a sophisticated alternative to McDonald’s regular offerings. However, after a huge build-up to the release, the burger never caught on with McDonald’s throngs of hungry fans. Even worse, McDonald’s spent $100 million advertising the burger that was supposed to introduce an entire line of “Deluxe” offerings from McDonald’s.

McDonald’s has rolled out boatloads of successful food innovations (Big Mac, Chicken McNuggets, the McRib, etc.), so why did the Arch Deluxe fail? Some might argue that it was overpriced. Others could say that McDonald’s didn’t develop this burger for their target market. Another reason could be that McDonald’s misused it’s $100 million advertising budget. Or maybe it was the burger itself that didn’t taste very good.

What do you think? Why did the Deluxe fail when other sandwiches succeeded? Please share your thoughts in the comments below or tell us on Twitter by clicking here!


3 thoughts on “#FailFriday: McDonald’s and the Arch Deluxe

  1. Pingback: #FailFriday Rivalry SPECIAL: Iowa vs. Iowa State | Freaky Fresh Marketing

  2. Pingback: #FAILFriday: Snapple And A Giant Melting Popsicle | Freaky Fresh Marketing

  3. Pingback: #FAILFriday: Microsoft Zune | Freaky Fresh Marketing

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