Staff Reporters
Jun 29, 2020

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Eugene Lee, McDonald’s

Lee leads many hyperlocal campaigns in Malaysia including one that reached legendary status for the brand's fried chicken. The campaign still serves as a case study for many marketers.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Eugene Lee, McDonald’s
SEE THE FULL 2020 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#LeadersForGood
 

Eugene Lee

Regional director of marketing (Asia business unit)
McDonald's
Malaysia

After only a 13-year career, Eugene Lee quickly and surely gained an Asia-wide marketing remit for one of the world’s most recognisable brands. The same career progression might take someone else more years on the clock, but the quick rise is testament to Lee’s assured and confident work when he oversaw McDonald’s Malaysia. This justifiably resulted in a promotion to his current title early this year.

For Malaysia’s divisive market, Lee has had many successes in his portfolio. But perhaps the most widely talked-about was the relaunch of McDonald’s fried chicken in 2017. The brand’s chicken offering had always been overshadowed by its burgers, and this gave room to KFC and other competitors to gain market share in the chicken category.

But under Lee’s leadership, a nationwide marketing campaign was generated by long-running agency partner Leo Burnett to rebrand McDonald’s 30-year-old Ayam Goreng McD. Just take a look at this simple yet deeply visceral ad. Overall, the hyperlocal campaign became the talk of the town and McDonald’s was forced to deal with a shortage of chickens because of a surge in demand. Today, the campaign still serves as a case study for many marketers.

If it’s anything to take from, this campaign among many others speaks to Lee’s ways of not overcomplicating his marcomms strategy. Sometimes, it’s fine to just give the people what they want.

SEE THE FULL 2020 POWER LIST
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers
#LeadersForGood
 

 

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