McD's Malaysia shares marketing thought process behind the Nasi Lemak Burger

News of McDonald's Malaysia release the new Nasi Lemak Burger is gaining traction online. The Facebook post announcing the Nasi Lemak Burger garnered over 4.6k reactions, 2,519 shares and 1k comments at the time of writing. Several netizens tagged their friends and some were excited to try out the new burger. Our online numbers internally also show that A+M readers are digging the new treats.

The new burger, which is only available for a limited period, is celebrates Malaysians' love for their traditional, all-time favourite local food. In a statement to A+M, marketing director Eugene Lee described the Nasi Lemak as "the true national dish of Malaysia", hence it was only fitting that the burger is made available locally. He added the new burger was also launched in line with the upcoming Ramadan period in May.

"We’re launching it earlier so that customers have the chance to try it, and from there, can come back to McDonald’s during the Ramadan period for a familiar taste," Lee said. McDonald's Malaysia will mainly focus on TV and digital to boost awareness of the Nasi Lemak Burger, as well as engage celebrities and key opinion leaders to promote the new product.

"We have moved our media split quite significantly in the past few years, with a strong shift to digital media. As recent as 2014, digital was only 10% of our media spend. Today, it is upwards of 70%, and even 100% for certain campaigns," Lee said.

He added that the McDonald's Singapore's Nasi Lemak Burger was the original product that sparked consumers' interest in the burger, which led to other cafes such as myBurgerLab jumping on the hype and launching similar-flavoured burgers shortly after. As such, McDonald's Malaysia spent "a fair bit of time" adjusting the taste profile of the sambal to improve it further for Malaysian taste buds.

As the Nasi Lemak Burger has been "tested extensively with consumers" before its launch, Lee said the company is confident in the product, which is "definitely" a taste profile that will suit the masses. He also said that another factor that makes its Nasi Lemak Burger competitive is the meal which is priced affordably.

According to data gathered by Meltwater between 26 and 27 April, 47% of online sentiments concerning McDonald's Malaysia's new Nasi Lemak Burger were 47% were positive, while 23% were negative and the remaining 30% were neutral. "Sambal" was widely discussed among netizens, with an overall positive mention.

Meanwhile, the company has also created a range of local flavours for its desserts menu such as the D24 Durian McFlurry, MILO McFlurry, Banana Pie, Pulut Hitam Pie, Red Bean Pie, Taro Pie and Cendol-flavoured cone. Last year, it launched the D24 Durian McFlurry with real D24 durians, as part of the Merdeka campaign "Burger Syok". This came weeks after its Singapore arm launched the Nasi Lemak Burger.

(Read also: McDonald’s Malaysia: 'No idea is a bad idea')