McDonald’s Burger-Scented Candles Connect With Consumers

Branded merchandise’s appeal to companies big and small is evergreen, and fast-food giant McDonald’s has added its own take on the practice with the introduction of Golden Arches Unlimited, an online shop full of products for the company’s super fans.

Launched in December 2019 with a selection of branded apparel and accessories, McDonald’s recently updated its offering with a selection of Quarter Pounder-themed merchandise, including a six pack of candles with scents like “Onion,” “Ketchup,” “Pickles” and “100% Beef.” The smell of burgers, without the hassle of actual food, proved to be a popular concept among consumers as the candles, introduced on February 18, sold out in three days. On Wednesday, as part of the merchandise launch, McDonald’s unveiled a bronze monument to the Quarter Pounder in Rapid City, South Dakota, chosen after a competition among the restaurant’s locations nationwide.

The enthusiastic response to McDonald’s Quarter Pounder-themed merchandise also drew attention to the value branded products hold for companies as they give fans the opportunity to become ambassadors of the brands they are enthusiastic about.

Joshua White, senior vice president of strategic partnerships at distributor BAMKO, spoke to CNBC on the successful execution of a promotional product strategy like McDonald’s. “The key is doing it well,” he said. “It’s not enough to just slap a logo on a product and call it a day. You need to understand what the values of that brand are and figure out how to take an intangible concept, like a brand, and transform it into a physical object that captures the essence of that brand. ...There’s an alchemy to expressing the essence of a brand in a physical object that captures the hearts and minds of that brand’s target demographic. When that’s done right, you get a magnificently powerful advertising tool that transforms customers into brand evangelists.”

For more on McDonald’s campaign and White’s interview, click here.

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