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McDonald's Media Planning and Buying India

McDonald’s India hires OMD to strengthen its connection to Gen Z

By Amit Bapna, APAC editor-at-large

April 2, 2023 | 6 min read

McDonald’s India wants to strengthen its connection with younger consumers. We explore how its new media agency OMD plans to meet that goal.

McDonald’s gets a new media agency for part of its India business

McDonald’s gets a new media agency for part of its India business

McDonald’s India is set to embrace newer ways of integrated media planning and buying by deploying forward-leaning end-to-end media solutions from OMD India.

After a drawn-out, competitive multi-agency pitch, the fast food brand opted to move its media mandate (in North and East India) from homegrown powerhouse agency Madison to Omnicom-owned OMD India.

“OMD’s sharp focus on talent, data and tools, during the pitch process, along with their tools of marketing spending attribution analytics, helped in taking the decision“, says Rajeev Ranjan, managing director, of McDonald’s India North and East in a chat with The Drum.

“We are confident that this will help in making our marketing investment planning sharper, and in delivering impactful work on the brand“, he adds.

McDonald’s has had an interesting journey in India and has become a ubiquitous brand in a short duration, even as it operates as two separate business units in India; North and East as one unit and South and West as the other, both with separate management.

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Says Ranjan: “As a customer-centric brand, we continue to improve every experience our customers have with us – whether it is in the restaurant or on the digital platform or with our food.“

The brand is hopeful that its partnership with OMD will help deliver “the best of consumer attention and seamless integration between awareness and performance through differentiated media strategy, effective planning and optimal media investment decisions.”

OMD India chief executive officer Anisha Iyer says the pitch was made sharper “by capitalizing on Omnicom Group’s people-based precision marketing and insights platform – Omni – and its capabilities across category planning, investment planning, audience understanding, and channel planning.” Together, our people and resources helped us in delivering an integrated approach rooted in disruption and creativity, she adds.

Ranjan says, “the OMD team stood out in their approach due to their promising strategy in unlocking and decoding the digital space, especially for our brand.”

Changing needs of the QSR category

India's fast food industry has experienced exponential growth over the last ten years - particularly in the quick service restaurant (QSR) category, which has rapidly expanded with the arrival of new international brands.

The category has experienced significant change and even more so post Covid-19 as customers increasingly prioritize hygiene and convenience while making their food-buying decision.

Ranjan says: “We are very well positioned to capture the huge opportunity to capture new customers from the informal eating out sector to our brand, given our relentless focus and best-in-class track record of consistently delivering the best of food safety, food quality and hygiene.”

The brand believes that it can further strengthen its connection with Gen Z consumers through emotionally engaging campaigns that land the message to the customers and nudge them effectively to include the brand in their purchase decision.

With McDonald’s planning to double its presence across the country’s North and East regions over the next five years as it pushes further into tier 2 and tier 3 cities, the brand plans to capture a sizable share of the market.

The OMD advantage

Interestingly, OMD has been the brand’s agency in many markets across the globe, which has helped in giving it an inherent understanding of the brand. To add to that, Anisha Iyer has worked on the QSR brand in her stints in markets like Singapore, Thailand etc all of which combined to make the pitch a success.

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Elaborating on the pitch, Iyer shares: “We not only succeeded in bringing the media brief to life but also went above and beyond what was expected.” A full-scale integrated plan complete with creative, PR, and brand ideas was presented, and we hope it would prove to be instrumental in the launch of the new menu plan, she adds.

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