McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in Vietnam in March after announcing its entry into the market last year. It plans to open another outlet this week. There is a big opportunity in Vietnam’s growing young population, coupled with higher disposable income and a consuming class that is spending more on branded food.
According to Euromonitor data, the $543.6 million fast-food market in Vietnam saw growth of 13.9 per cent in 2012 and is expected to grow by 15 per cent in 2014. At present, KFC leads market share in the category, with 16 per cent of the market, followed by Lotteria with 5.8 per cent and Jollibee at 1.6 per cent. Burger King, which launched in 2011, has about 0.4 per cent of the market.
Thai Nguyen, marketing lead for McDonald’s Vietnam, said digital agencies in Vietnam are still scarce, and in the absence of some of the large global networks, the company had to look beyond its traditional roster. “We evaluated several options and chose Riverorchid Notch for their commitment, reliability and stability," Nguyen said. "They’re one of the longest standing and largest digital agencies in Vietnam, and their continuing wins in international awards underlines their quality.”
Riverorchid Notch will focus on marketing “new experiences” McDonald’s brings, including the first 24-hour restaurant, the first drive-thru, free WiFi and a children's play area.
“Winning McDonalds is particularly exciting," said Tarun Dhawan, the agency’s MD. "It is a truly great brand. As an agency we like to see ourselves a simple solid outfit with a mission to take our client’s brands a notch higher.”
* Update, 28 May: This article originally said there was a pitch for the business, citing anonymous sources. The agencies said to have been involved has all have denied taking part in a pitch, so we have removed the reference to a pitch.