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Prepare for a non-stop week of Ronald McDonald.

In the run-up to McDonald's Corp.'s launch of Arch Deluxe, the fast-food giant is blanketing the airwaves and hitting the promotion trail with a publicity campaign estimated at $50 million.

To promote McDonald's new "grown-up" menu addition of the burger, a McChicken sandwich and a Grilled McChicken, the marketer is sending out the clown to pursue adult pastimes (AA, April 8).

In addition to the TV teaser campaign from Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, that broke May 2, executives close to the effort said McDonald's was hoping to get Ronald guest shots on "Late Show With David Letterman" and "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" to augment his May 2 appearance on "Today." The public relations plan also called for an appearance on the hit NBC series "ER."

However, spokesmen for all three shows denied that Ronald would appear.


What is certain is that the spokesclown will be strutting the boards at a media event at Radio City Music Hall May 9 and also appearing at the Cinema Dome in Los Angeles. In L.A., an enormous image of the sandwich will be shown on the dome, an executive familiar with the launch said.

An additional media splash is planned in Toronto, and a spokeswoman at Golin/Harris, Chicago, the PR agency coordi- nating the effort, said there will be "lots of additional surprises" on that date.


All this hoopla is only a lead-in to the $75 million ad launch for Arch Deluxe, kicking off May 9 with a roadblock on the major networks.

The plan calls for the campaign to run on all major broadcast networks and cable's Lifetime, BET, Univision and Telemundo, among other venues.

Contributing: Chuck Ross and Pat Sloan.

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