In 1996, McDonald's wanted to broaden its image, so it launched a special advertising campaign. Instead of seeing a fun-loving Ronald McDonald dancing around with kids, TV viewers saw commercials of kids grimacing in disgust at the latest McDonald's burger. This new burger, dubbed the Arch Deluxe, was supposed to appeal to adult tastes with a secret mustard-mayonnaise sauce. That's right: McDonald's -- the symbol of fast, low-priced American food -- was seeking the sophisticated, urban demographic.
As you may have guessed, it didn't work. It seems adults didn't find a child's sheer disgust at a sandwich very appetizing. The company tried another approach -- this time with commercials featuring Ronald McDonald at clubs, golfing and playing pool. This failed because it contradicted the family-friendly atmosphere that McDonald's had cultivated for so long.
Mickey D's spent more money on the Arch Deluxe advertising campaign than it had on any other -- $100 million -- making the sandwich a pricey mistake [source: Collins].