Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Panda Express PH opens new branch in Muntinlupa

Manila, Philippines — Panda Express in the Philippines, a popular American Chinese dining concept, is opening a new branch on the south side of the metro. The branch is set to open this July and can be found in a Shell SLT satellite, in Muntinlupa along the South Luzon expressway.

Panda Express is operated by Jollibee Foods Corporation in the Philippines. The new branch will be the 10th Panda Express branch in Metro Manila since it set foot in the country in 2019.

Ned Bandojo, business development head of Jollibee Group Foreign Franchised Brands, said, “This back-to-back store opening in the south is all attributable to the heartwarming support that Panda Express has received from Filipino customers since 2019.”

“Guests from Muntinlupa and nearby areas, as well as city travellers heading south, can now stop over at our new location to satisfy their craving for savoury, wok-cooked American Chinese dishes,” Bandojo said.

The Panda Express menu includes a variety of entrées with regional Chinese influences—from its bestselling The Original Orange Chicken, a wok-tossed crispy chicken coated in sweet tangy sauce, to other must-try entrees like Broccoli Beef, Savory Shrimp, and Black Pepper Steak.

Guests can grab their Panda Express favourites through dine-in, takeout and Park, Order and go channels. To get more information about Panda Express, interested customers can visit Pand Express’ Facebook and Instagram pages.

Marketing Featured Global

McDonald’s officially exits Russia after 30 years

Chicago, USA – Global fast food chain McDonald’s has officially announced that they are now exiting Russia, 30 years since they first opened their Russian branch in 1990. As part of that exit, McDonald’s is selling its Russian business.

The fast food chain had previously announced its suspension of operations in Russia on 8 March, as well as an open letter posted by their CEO Chris Kempczinski on the same day regarding the suspension.

Speaking on the formal exit of the company, Kempczinski said, “We have a long history of establishing deep, local roots wherever the Arches shine. We’re exceptionally proud of the 62,000 employees who work in our restaurants, along with the hundreds of Russian suppliers who support our business, and our local franchisees. Their dedication and loyalty to McDonald’s make today’s announcement extremely difficult.”

He added, “However, we have a commitment to our global community and must remain steadfast in our values. And our commitment to our values means that we can no longer keep the Arches shining there.”

According to the company, the ongoing humanitarian crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, and the precipitating unpredictable operating environment, have led McDonald’s to conclude that continued ownership of the business in Russia is no longer tenable, nor is it consistent with McDonald’s values.

It is also expecting that the company will lose around US$1.2b to US$1.4b to write off its net investment in the market.

McDonald’s is one of the hundreds of companies that have exited Russia amidst the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine; which includes advertising and marketing companies such as Publicis Groupe and IPG.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

KFC SG pledges to make mornings ‘unboring’ with breakfast-centric campaign

Singapore – Fast-food chain KFC in Singapore has launched its revamped breakfast campaign called ‘#UnboringMorning’, in part of the relaunch of KFC’s signature Original Recipe breakfast menu.

The fast-food chain has been serving breakfast across its local chains with a range of breakfast items on its morning menu, each one putting the Original Recipe chicken front and centre.

“In recognition of breakfast being one of the most important meals of the day, along with the growing potential of the morning dining segment in Singapore, KFC Singapore is determined to elevate breakfast into an exciting mealtime that Singaporeans look forward to – be it during their busy work days or on the weekend with family. If you have that KFC crave, why wait till lunch?” the fast-food chain said in a press statement.

For this campaign, KFC Singapore has announced that it will be spending on ads for this campaign four times than their previous, which is expected to achieve a 40% increase in breakfast sales over the next 3 years.

Part of the campaign roll-out is marked with a convoy of KFC-branded sidecars making their way through the rush hour traffic to KFC Singapore’s Kallang restaurant. Upon arrival, a troupe of jubilant dancers, clad in KFC’s signature striped uniform, served a selection of signature Original Recipe breakfast dishes to an upbeat playlist curated to dispel Monday morning blues, available on a curated Spotify playlist.

Lynette Lee, general manager of KFC Singapore, said, “The KFC Singapore breakfast items refresh, and marketing push, are strategic business decisions to drive increased revenue in the A.M. slot. We know that Singaporeans simply love our fresh chicken and Original Recipe flavour, and we encourage them to satisfy their cravings by experiencing #UnboringMornings with KFC Singapore.”

As part of the #UnboringMorning campaign, KFC Singapore has also launched a series of deals, and will be launching a social media competition, which will see 5 lucky commuters win a ride to work in a sidecar.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Jollibee takes cues from a tech product launch to introduce ‘Chick’nwich’

Manila, Philippines – Reminiscent of what many of us have seen from our most-awaited tech product launches, Filipino fast-food chain Jollibee has taken that same theme to launch its newest product, the ‘Chick’nwich’.

The campaign was conceptualized by creative agency BBH Singapore, and was directed by Louis Nieto of Stink Films. The film, shot in Prague, describes the product as if they are taken straight out of a product launch, with descriptions such as ‘ultra-large chicken display’, ‘spatial surround crunch’, and ‘a personal hand-held device to satisfy your appetite’.

Speaking about the film production, Nieto said, “When Jollibee and BBH Singapore approached me with a ‘tech product launch’ idea, I was intrigued and excited. Pushing beyond the territory of food, I wanted to creatively portray the Chick’nwich as something that’s absolutely innovative like no other – like a highly anticipated flagship release from our favorite tech brands.”

Meanwhile, for Francis Flores, country marketing head at Jollibee Food Corporation Philippines and marketing head at Jollibee Philippines, describes their latest product as a breakthrough product for them, a new level of chicken sandwich, bringing a new level of joy to their consumers.

“This gave us the opportunity to go big, and the work from BBH Singapore and director Louis Nieto, as well as the whole crew that gave it their all, certainly does that. Together we have created an ad that we can all be proud of. We look forward to catching the attention – and appetite – of Jollibee and chicken sandwich fans,” Flores said.

Sascha Kuntze, chief creative officer at BBH Singapore, commented, “In the world of product launch ads, no one does it like how the tech giants do. The hype and excitement with a clear product focus was something we wanted to play on. Especially for a groundbreaking product like the Jollibee Chick’nwich.”

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Kingdom Digital tapped by KyoChon for social media duties

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Kyochon, a Korean fried chicken brand, has tapped local digital and social marketing agency Kingdom Digital to handle the brand’s social media duties in the Malaysian market, starting off with an online campaign to promote KyoChon’s new meat-free food: the ‘Future Chicken’ Burger and ‘Future Chicken’ Tenders.

KyoChon will be turning to social media to create buzz and drive awareness about the 100% plant-based options by working closely with its newly appointed social media agency Kingdom Digital.

Terry Goh, CEO of KyoChon, shared that the brand first introduced its meat-free menu earlier this year in February for Malaysians who are looking to reduce their meat intake for health, spiritual, or social reasons. 

“With the addition of the new ‘Future Chicken’ Burger and ‘Future Chicken’ Tenders, we have a total of 4 meat-free selections to cater to different preferences. Our customers and their loved ones can now have more options to choose from when they dine at KyoChon, be it from the meat-free or chicken menu. Both menus allow them to experience the signature taste and crispiness one would expect from our Korean fried chicken without compromising on their dietary choices,” Goh said.

Meanwhile, Lui Xiao Yee, head of client servicing at Kingdom Digital said KyoChon has tasked them to strengthen KyoChon’s positioning as the go-to restaurant for the most authentic and best Korean fried chicken in the minds of young teens, adults, and families.

“To achieve that, our strategy aims to portray KyoChon as the ‘INSSA’ (a Korean slang word describing a sociable trendsetter) through relatable and humorous social content and engagement ideas. Some of these can already be seen on their social media pages, such as the specially-curated monthly KyoKomics or when the brand joined the hype and trendjack Squid Game,” Xiao Yee stated.

Kingdom Agency has won various accounts this year, including milk brand Lactel and beverage brand Spritzer.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Jollibee’s first-ever global campaign a ‘message from the future’ on finding joy over fear

Manila, Philippines – In an attempt to bring an overall message to the general populace amid the pandemic, Philippine-born fast food chain Jollibee has launched its first-ever global campaign centered on the message of finding joy and love amid the tumultuous times brought by the pandemic.

Jollibee which was put up in the 70’s is the biggest and leading fast food chain in the Philippines, and is continuously making a name globally with new international openings coming after another. To date, it already has 1,300 chains worldwide, with the latest branches in Maryland, USA, and in Leicester Square in London. 

With its wide presence, Jollbee has always made it a point to touch the hearts of consumers through localized narratives, making sure that messages are one with cultural values. This time, due to the call of the global pandemic, the brand has moved to delivering a unified communication in order to bring the message of hope to everyone amid these hard times.

Titled ‘A Message From The Future’, the ad narrates the story of a migrant Filipino family in New York City who, like million others around the globe, have felt the brunt of the pandemic. Set in the future year2060, the first half of the campaign shows the various faces of the pandemic effects, such as job loss, losing loved ones due to the virus, as well as the mother of the family getting infected as well. 

Jollibee stresses that despite all of these losses, the family has found joy and love in the mid of their hardships, focusing on the importance of togetherness. In addition, the campaign signifies the transition of fear into hope by the color grading of the film from monochrome black to a colored one. The campaign concludes with the grandfather telling her granddaughter that one ‘could never take anything for granted’.

For Francis Flores, country marketing head at Jollibee Food Corporation Philippines and marketing head at Jollibee Philippines, the brand aims that through this campaign, they are able to help others find a ‘silver lining’ in these hard times, true to Jollibee’s core value of the joy of family.

“Coming from a powerful truth that we are spending time with our families more than ever, it has never happened before and may never happen again – we wanted this campaign to acknowledge the grim reality of the current pandemic but still give a positive message of hope. It’s all about appreciating these moments with them and finding the ultimate joy with family. Our families have been a comforting factor for most of us in these tough times and we wanted everyone to be grateful for that,” Flores explained.

In producing the campaign, Jollibee chose creative agency BBH Singapore to transition into a global approach.

Sascha Kuntze, chief creative officer at BBH Singapore, commented, “We got a little tired of seeing empty streets and locked up places in commercials. The pandemic was and is a lot more personal. To really make an impact we wanted to show a perspective nobody had explored before.”

The campaign was directed by Law Chen of Stink Films Shanghai, and was shot in New York City.

Prior to this, Jollibee’s home market has also recently released a campaign in line with Jollibee’s new ‘Family Thanksgiving’ month initiative, which was launched to encourage everyone to always appreciate and be thankful for their families.

Marketing Featured South Asia

Indian actress Rashmika Mandanna is McDonald’s India’s new face

Mumbai, India – McDonald’s India has announced that Indian actress Rashmika Mandanna is the fast food chain’s new brand ambassador for its key advertising campaigns, especially in West and South India.

Mandanna has been featured in various Telugu and Kannada films such as ‘Kirik Party’, ‘Sarileru Neekevvaru’, ‘Geetha Govindam’, and ‘Dear Comrade’. She also currently has a total of 15 million followers on Instagram, making her a household name and a popular face among millennials, especially in the Southern states of the country.

“McDonald’s has been one of my favorite brands since I was a kid. I’d literally lived on McDonald’s when I was in college. When they reached out to me for this association, I was absolutely thrilled! I am delighted to represent a brand that is passionate about serving yummy food with great quality to its consumers,” Mandanna stated regarding her appointment as brand ambassador.

She added, “McDonald’s has been serving Indian consumers for 25 years and counting now and is definitely a preferred choice across all age groups. I am really excited about my partnership with such an amazing and trusted brand.”

Meanwhile, Arvind RP, director for marketing and communications at McDonald’s India (West and South) said, “We are delighted to have Rashmika onboard. She is someone who connects strongly with millennials and is a popular youth icon.”

Mandanna, popularly known as the ‘National Crush’ has expressed her love for food through her social media handles, on several occasions. Rashmika will be a part of key brand campaigns and will play a pivotal role in enhancing ‘brand love’ for McDonald’s across key markets.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Fresh from the source: McDonald’s NZ assures customers of product origins in latest campaign

Auckland, New Zealand – McDonald’s in New Zealand has launched a new campaign created by DDB Aotearoa, in a bid to shed light on the quality of food the fast food chain assures from every raw produce used in their meals.

Titled ‘Ordered From Here’, the campaign follows the journey of four New Zealanders ordering from a McDonald’s drive-thru. When they ask what’s in the product, the group is transported to the fresh source of the items. For instance, the beef patties originate from the herds grazed at Whangara Farms in Gisborne, or the apples of the ‘Apple Pie’ from orchards in Hastings.

Macca’s, as McDonald’s colloquially known in New Zealand, is particularly proud of its long-term support for quality local food producers and this campaign stems from a desire to share that story with Kiwi audiences who may not be aware of it. Furthermore, the challenge was to tell that story in a way that was both informative and entertaining.

For McDonald’s New Zealand Head of Communications, Simon Kenny, the question of what ‘really’ goes into Macca’s menu comes up all the time, and there’s a great story to tell.

“McDonald’s New Zealand’s ‘Ordered from Here’ is a fun, light-hearted exploration of where our local ingredients are sourced. The new television commercial (TVC) takes a fantastical approach to tell our food quality and provenance story, which is a bit different to what we’ve done in the past, Kenny said.

He added, “Beyond the TVC we then have more depth to the story told across other channels for those who want to find out more.”

Meanwhile, Gary Steele, ECD at DDB Aotearoa, commented, “The fact that Macca’s get their potatoes from Ashburton is a great message but telling someone your potatoes come from Ashburton without putting them to sleep is a real task. We wanted to share Macca’s great provenance story in a way that got the point across without feeling like a guided tour of the supply chain that the viewer didn’t sign up for.”

The campaign, originally 60 seconds long, is also live as 30 and 15 second spots in mediums such as cinema, magazine, electronic direct mail (eDM), outdoor advertising, digital/web, as well as in social media, PRs, and in-store.

Marketing Featured East Asia

KFC and Pizza Hut launch plastic reduction initiatives in China

Shanghai, China – Restaurant company Yum China has announced the launch of a new plastic reduction initiative across its KFC and Pizza Hut branches in China, in response to new environmental regulations in the country.

The latest campaign is expected to reduce approximately 8,000 tons of non-degradable plastics annually starting from 2021, replacing traditional plastic packaging with paper straws, paper bags, and biodegradable plastic bags.

With KFC, the brand’s campaign under the initiative is launched as the “Be Natural, Be You” sustainability campaign, raising consumers’ awareness of environmental protection by encouraging sustainable practices. Beginning this year, KFC chains across China  will stop using plastic straws and over 90% of KFC restaurants will be replacing disposable plastic cutlery with wooden cutlery. By 2025, it is expected that all plastic packaging and cutlery will be phased out across KFC restaurants  in China.

Biodegradable Cutlery
(Left) KFC biodegradable packaging and cutlery, (Right) Pizza Hut biodegradable packaging and cutlery

Meanwhile, Pizza Hut has already phased out the use of plastic straws across their branches in the country by the end of 2020, while over 70% of Pizza Hut restaurants across the country have replaced existing plastic bags with paper bags or biodegradable plastic bags. By 2022, Pizza Hut will be phasing out the use of plastic bags in the branches in China.

“The new plastic reduction initiatives reinforce our sustainability strategy to drive meaningful change through packaging innovation and reduction. In line with our long-term commitment of supporting economic, social and environmental development, we are committed to working with customers, partners, and all other stakeholders to promote a more sustainable future,” said Joey Wat, CEO of Yum China