Nov 5, 2022

The Devil Went Down To Arby's

Diablo Roast Beef Sandwich
Arby's (2022)
The newest menu item at Arby's is described on their website as"thinly sliced roast beef with natural cheddar cheese, fiery seasoning, fire-roasted jalapenos, lettuce, and a Diablo BBQ sauce on a toasted red chipotle bun".  In their advertisements, they have said that this is the spiciest sandwich ever sold by the fast food chain.

Arby's is promoting this new sandwich with a challenge.  In order to take the Diablo Dare, you've first got to order the Diablo Roast Beef Sandwich with a side of Diablo Loaded Fries for $9.00.  They'll give you a free snack-sized Vanilla shake to extinguish the fire in your mouth, but the challenge is to eat the whole sandwich and all of the fries without taking a sip of the shake until you're finished.

I've got to tip my hat to whoever came up with this idea.  The key to successful marketing is to make your product fun.  It's really no more complicated than that.  If people have a good time engaging with your brand or your product, they're going to keep doing it and they're going to inspire new customers to see what all of the fuss is about.  However, they've made a huge misstep by limiting themselves to TikTok.  If you could read my mind when I first looked at this sign, it would have went something like this: "Dude, they're doing a challenge with this!  Oh wait, it's on TikTok?  Nevermind".

Obviously there's nothing to stop consumers from taking part in this and sharing it wherever they want, but at the time that I'm writing this, the Arby's Facebook, Twitter and Instagram profiles don't even acknowledge that their new sandwich exists, let alone the Diablo Dare promotion.  Ask the companies who poured millions of dollars into their MySpace presence how smart of a decision it is to lock your promotional efforts down to a single platform.  Branding it to TikTok makes it feel exclusionary to consumers and makes the whole thing have less of an impact than it could have had.

I decided to pass on the Diablo Dare and order just the sandwich for two reasons.  The main reason, as you may have guessed, is that I have no intention whatsoever of signing up for a TikTok account.  Also, I stopped at Arby's to pick something up to eat on my drive home from work, and Diablo Loaded Fries sounds like it'd be a pretty messy thing to eat in the car.  I already had a can of Neo-Coke Blak in the car in case I had to put out any fires in my mouth.

I'm happy to say that the Diablo Roast Beef Sandwich is very tasty!  The Diablo BBQ Sauce that they use has a smoky flavor, and while sandwich is pretty damn hot, it's not ridiculously hot to the point where you can't enjoy it.  If you're not a fan of spicy foods, I wouldn't recommend that you start with this one, but definitely give it a shot if spicy foods are your thing.  It had my mouth burning for a good ten minutes after I took my last bite, and while I'm sure that milkshake would have helped, it wasn't an unbearable experience without it.