Staff Reporters
Jun 29, 2020

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Nicole McMillan, Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Steadily climbing the ranks of one of the world's top candy companies, the secret to McMillan's sweet brand success may be to remain consistent in a world of change.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Nicole McMillan, Mars Wrigley Confectionery
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Nicole McMillan

Vice president of marketing, AMEA
Mars Wrigley Confectionery

Nicole McMillan has almost two decades of experience in pushing some of the world’s most valuable brands in both regional and global roles. 

Her odyssey with Mars Wrigley began back in 2007, joining Mars' team in Australia to oversee repackaging for Dove brand treats and build campaigns for Mars. For the next four years McMillan became a key member of the global marketing leadership team for chocolate, while taking on a lead role in the ANZ marketing council.

By 2013, she became the vice president marketing for Wrigley in the Asia Pacific region, overseeing a team of 90 people and presiding over the Doublemint brand globally. At this time Wrigley delivered one of the most successful chewing gum brand ads in the history of its China business. It was a series of microfilms about Extra gum, using a love stories of couple meeting each other in restaurants. Even seven years later, many in China still remember the ad. 

By 2017 McMillan's mandate expanded yet again to encompass marketing oversight for Mars Wrigley Confectionery across AMEA and her team has expanded to 120 people. In this role, growing her brands in emerging markets such as India, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia remain a key focus. 

As an active industry player, McMillan serves as an advisory board member at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute and on the board of The Marketing Society in Singapore.

While a lot of marketers emphasise adapting to change, McMillan is not one to chase shiny new things without a plan.  “Even when people wanted to change, we’ve had to hold back," she told industry at an event last year. "In the main, we have been very consistent with our look and feel. It may feel a bit boring, but it drives the efficiency of marketing and effectiveness of sales.” And perhaps this is the takeaway for McMillan's success - always ensure the product has a unique and recognisable message that stands out.   

McMillan can be found on Twitter at: @nic3182

Update, September 2020: McMillan joined DKSH, a market expansion services provider, in a dual role as vice president of FMCG Hong Kong as well as vice president of group FMCG marketing.

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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