McDonald’s Malaysia has always strived to provide Malaysians with continuous innovative products and flavours. Consumer insights suggests that BBQ is increasingly popular in Malaysia as seen with the growth of barbeque flavoured foods. Our main challenge was to connect with BBQ and rock genre lovers in Malaysia to build affinity, talkability and drum up their love for McDonald’s latest BBQ burger.

Barbeque has always been closely associated with the American culture of summer, burgers and rock and roll. In Malaysia, rock music is highly popular especially highly recognisable rock icons. By having close resonance between the artist and the product concept, the campaign strategy was to leverage on the popularity of The Queen of Rock, Ella, as an anchor to communicate the launch for the BBQ flavoured burger.


Stuck at home since 2020, Malaysians were deprived of gatherings, concerts, and dining in McDonald’s restaurants. The idea: Satisfy Malaysians’ hunger for music and good food through one single event, launching McD Rockin’ BBQ burger. We created ‘Gempak Rock On’, a virtual concert headlined by Malaysia’s Queen of Rock, Ella with her rockstar friends, bringing the concert experience to Malaysians at home.

Partnered with Astro Gempak, Malaysia’s no.1 entertainment portal with the highest penetration amongst Malaynials, to maximise exposure. Anchoring on Ella’s singing in its creative approach, McDonald’s produced a video jingle, balancing the tone and design of Ella and Rockin’ BBQ Burger, making it relevant to Malaysians.

  • Launch on ‘MeleTOP Talk Show’: As the highest rated entertainment talk show, this was the perfect avenue to announce Ella’s collaboration with McDonald’s.
  • Cross-postings and branded advertorials: Promoted the event via Gempak’s digital and social media. Approaching the concert, short teaser clips of Ella’s best rock hits played on HLive and Gempak TV with reminders for viewers to tune in.
  • Livestreamed Concert with Limited Edition Merchandise: Hosted on Gempak TV’s Facebook and YouTube, audiences participated to win Limited Edition McD Rockin’ BBQ autographed T-shirts by Ella and McDonald’s gift vouchers.
  • Virtual Rockin’ lunch with Ella: Exclusive invites for lucky fans, Ella surprised her fans at McDonald’s Drive Thru. The campaign was amplified with “The Rockin Hunt” contest where winners get Free upgrades to Double Rockin BBQ Burger.


The campaign ignited a strong connection between McDonald’s and Malaysians – for the love of great food and good music.


  • The campaign recorded 2.7 times higher sales, compared to similar BBQ products in the past years.

Brand sentiment

  • Highest score in positive sentiments at 97% compared to similar BBQ product launches in the past years.
  • Earned 5,156 brand mentions.
  • Achieved highest engagement at 11,171,283, measured across all digital and social media channels.
  • Rockin’ BBQ Campaign Engagement Rate achieved an incremental of 169% compared to the usual menu campaign.

Digital and social media channels

  • Achieved 17,220 engagement.
  • Recorded 428,431 digital views.
  • The Gempak Rock On concert streamed on Astro Gempak’s Facebook Live and YouTube channels achieved 156,637 views.