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McDonald’s takes cheeky approach to launch new line

McDonald's frork

McDonald’s is pushing the boundaries of hucksterism in its introduction of Signature Crafted Recipes, a premium sandwich line that rolls out systemwide this week. 

The gimmicks for snagging attention range from the chain’s first-ever “infomercial”—in reality, a snarky takeoff on the format—to the offer of a purposely silly utensil for scooping up drippings from the new sandwiches.

The tongue-in-cheek effort calls attention to the sandwiches’ juiciness and premium toppings. But the spotlight is actually on the Frork, a plastic doohickey that looks like a disposable razor without the blade. Patrons insert three french fries into the wider part of the handle to form a crude fork, with the fries serving as the tines.

Users are instructed to use the Frork to scoop up blots of condiments and flavorings that drip from the sandwiches. “The Frork works with all three new Signature Crafted Recipes,” McDonald’s deadpans.

The spiel is delivered in the mock infomercial, which stars legendary pitchman Anthony Sullivan, the carnival barker behind such products as OxiClean, Swivel Sweeper and Nutrisystem. The spot ends with a telephone number flashed across the screen, with a come-on to call now for one of the Frorks.

A call is answered by a recorded Sullivan, who walks the customer through the location of a nearby store and how to qualify for a coupon.

Patrons who sample the new sandwiches between May 4-8 will also get free food: a medium-sized order of fries, apparently to help them load their Frork, and a complimentary medium-sized soft drink.

The sandwiches in the new line are the Pico Guacamole, the Sweet BBQ Bacon and the Maple Bacon Dijon. For each, customers specify what type of meat they prefer (a burger, a fried chicken filet or a grilled filet) and choice of bread (an artisan roll or a sesame seed bun).

The sandwiches are expected to sell for around $4.99.

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