McDonald’s is the Latest Business to Try and Profit on Odd Smelling Candles

Gwyneth Paltrow made headlines this year for selling a candle that smells like her vagina. The actress who owns modern life-style brand Goop, has a candle called This Smells Like My Vagina that goes for a cool bargain price of $75.

Making a strong business out of odd smells has now caught the eye of fast food giant McDonald’s, who recently rolled out several new “fan club” items for its Quarter Pounder burger. One of them is a candle that smells like the burger’s ingredients. The candles will be sold in the coming week and will come in scents like pickle, 100% beef, onion and ketchup.

McDonald’s introduced a menu for its new Quarter Pounder-themed merchandise this month for its merchandise shop, which includes a locket filled with burger photos, and the scented candles. The company’s merchandise shop, “Golden Arches Unlimited” has been around for a few months which also sells lounge sets, hoodies, umbrellas and other items.

The new “Quarter Pounder Fan Club” collection has “extremely limited” quantities of fresh items according to the company. Items include “Couples Quarter Pounder Mittens” for $25, an “I’d Rather Be Eating a Quarter Pounder” sticker for $8, a “Quarter Pounder Fan Club” pin for $10, a fan club T-shirt for $25 and a calendar for $25. The locket has already been sold out, and the candle pack was listed as “coming soon.”

McDonald’s has teamed up with partners that include Wieden + Kennedy, Bamko, The Marketing Store, Golin and OMD for the launch of the “Quarter Pounder Fan Club.”

Joshua White, SVP of Strategic Partnerships at Bamko, which makes promotional products and branded merchandise, remarked to CNBC, “The key, however, is doing it well. 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.”

“The quality of impressions that [a] brand advocate can create are infinitely more impactful than one more digital advertisement that will get lost in the signal noise,” he also added.

“The CMO’s we work with are extraordinarily thoughtful about how they want consumers to feel about their brands,” he said. “At the heart of what we do is creating an emotional attachment between brands and their audiences. That’s where we always start – what is the emotional outcome that we are driving towards and how do we create that connection between brands and consumers.”

Naturally many took to social media to talk about McDonald’s items and to poke fun. What better way to have a romantic dinner than by lighting a candle that smells like pickles?

Twitter user @BtwnPrintedPgs tweeted, “A fantastically written article about @McDonalds worst idea yet: scented candles. Totally unrelated, how much and where can I buy a set – asking for an enemy #quarterpounder.”

User @reggieaqui tweeted, “In America, in 2020, not only does a #McDonalds #quarterpounder locket exist–it’s also sold out. Soon, you’ll be able to buy a beef-scented candle.”