Unique Localized Marketing Campaigns that Hit The Spot in Malaysia

Unique Localized Marketing Campaigns that Hit The Spot in Malaysia

When it comes to hitting the spot with effective marketing campaigns, knowing your local consumer insights are a powerful asset toward a successful campaign. This is because understanding your audience allows you to directly offer solutions to their specific needs and pain points.

By delving into the preferences, behaviors, and desires of your target audience, you gain invaluable knowledge that enables you to tailor your marketing campaigns in a way that resonates deeply with them. This localized approach creates a sense of relevance and connection, increasing the likelihood of capturing their attention and motivating them to take action.

In Malaysia, both big and small brands have utilized content localization to tailor their large-scale digital marketing campaigns and global campaigns to tap into individual regions and markets. These 4 brands offer great examples of how to nail localized marketing campaigns, and show why doing it right can enhance a brand’s position amongst target markets. 

Take a look at these examples that may inspire your next campaigns!




The Strategy 

The French luxury beauty goods retailer, Sephora, knows how to accommodate its various markets worldwide including Malaysia. In a recent Raya marketing campaign, Sephora invites their Malaysian audiences to Be Kind Be Beautiful by showing kindness to others and themselves. 

This campaign is followed by sharing trending Raya looks, and “balik kampung” skincare routines on their social media page, as well as festive-themed makeup services and masterclasses available in their stores. Audiences were also invited to share their favorite Raya traditions and makeup looks using the hashtags #SephoraRaya #BeKindBeBeautiful. In addition to that, Sephora has also partnered with a local fashion brand and Fashion Designer, Rizman Ruzaini for their Eid campaign.

As a result of this collaboration, three exquisite headscarves were produced, drawing inspiration from Islamic geometry and batik. These design elements hold significant cultural and religious ties, deeply resonating with Malaysian audiences.

The incorporation of Islamic geometry pays homage to the rich heritage of Islamic art, while batik patterns evoke a sense of local artistry. This fusion of cultural and religious elements captures the essence of Malaysian identity especially during Eid, making the headscarves highly sought after by the local community.


Why It Worked

The brand hopped into the current local festive celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri while collaborating with one of Malaysia’s renowned fashion designers and local brand. This strategy allows them to directly speak to their local audiences and consumers with localized content that mirrors their interests on a cultural and personal level.

Not only that, Sephora's use of local models in their campaign helps break away from Western beauty standards, which is often overlooked but plays a crucial role in its success.

Featuring models that reflect the diversity of the Malaysian community creates relatability, inclusivity, and cultural sensitivity. It challenges narrow beauty ideals and fosters a stronger connection with the audience, resulting in positive brand perception and engagement!




The Strategy

McDonald's or Mekdi?

McDonald's, the famous fast food chain, has taken an intriguing approach to engage customers during the Merdeka Celebration in 2019. Their strategy? Go local!

The highlight of their campaign was the 'Mekdi' sign displayed at their first Malaysian outlet in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. Why Bukit Bintang?

The branch holds significant importance as it was the first McDonald’s outlet in Malaysia which opened its doors in 1982. Notably, the decision to localize the McDonald’s branch in Bukit Bintang proved to be a viral sensation on social media. 

Not only that, McDonald's Malaysia further embraced local culture by introducing Nasi Lemak McD, a Malaysian favorite. This mouthwatering dish features fragrant rice cooked with coconut milk, crispy anchovies, fresh cucumber slices, a fried egg, and a spicy sambal.


Why It Worked

Malaysians have long used the term ‘Mekdi’ colloquially, but seeing it officially embraced by McDonald's makes it amusing, relatable, and heartwarming. It demonstrated the company's commitment to localizing its brand and understanding its local consumers.

The addition of Nasi Lemak McD was the cherry on top! This move helped captured the essence of the beloved national dish, solidifying its place in the hearts and taste buds of Malaysians.

Overall, McDonald’s localized marketing strategy was a great opportunity for the brand to directly reach the hearts and minds of its local customers that mirror their interests. The strategy was not only culturally-relevant but also linguistically familiar to Malaysians. 





The Strategy

Despite being a Japanese cosmetics and skincare brand, KOSÉ has shown its dedication to reaching out to regional audiences in Malaysia.

The brand worked together with WEBQLO in order to make their ‘Protect Your Skin, Protect The Corals’ Raya 2023 campaign come to life!

The key objective of the campaign was to educate consumers and bring awareness about its new Sekkisei Clear Wellness UV Marine-Friendly sunscreen, increase brand engagement on its Instagram platform, and also to drive conversion of the sunscreen.

Hence, educational social postings on the Marine-friendly aspect of sunscreen became the focus of this campaign, followed by a roadshow to further bring awareness on the importance of sunscreen to marine life. 

A lucky draw contest was also part of the strategy, offering local audiences a chance to win the latest iPhone model, a Dyson Airwrap, and an Instax Camera, by just purchasing one of the sunscreens from the Marine-friendly Sekkisei range. The prizes were chosen according to market research based on Malaysian local consumers' interests.

Wait - there’s more! To increase brand engagement on their Instagram platform, an AR Game Filter was crafted for audiences to play with their friends and family due to a growing trend and popularity of AR Filters on social media platforms.


Why It Worked

By strategically focusing on the interests and lifestyle habits of the local audience in Malaysia, KOSÉ successfully tapped into the local market with their environmental concerns, which particularly involves their Marine-Friendly UV sunscreen.

The brand puts itself at the forefront of the beauty sustainability conversation by introducing its UV sunscreen that is not only able to protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun but also doesn’t lead to coral bleaching!

Additionally, the campaign strategically utilizes a blend of English and Malay languages to effectively connect with its target audience. By incorporating common Malay sayings like "Baru La Raya," in their visuals and captions, the brand creates a relatable and culturally resonant message. 

With the festive season on the rise, followed by sustainable consumerism on Marine life, this move was like hitting two birds with one stone. 





The Strategy

IKEA used a unique marketing localization strategy to launch its new store in Penang, Malaysia! How?

The campaign embraces the distinctive Hokkien dialect, which holds cultural significance in Penang. This is done through playful wordplay using Hokkien words that end with “Kia” to create a phonetic similarity with the IKEA brand name. 

For example, one of their advertisement pairs a chicken with a cabinet, emphasizing, “We are not Kay Kia. We are IKEA.”

Another ad shows a tall guy standing beside a Billy bookcase, playfully stating, “We are not Lo Kha Kia (a tall guy). We are IKEA.

These creative wordplay elements added a sense of humor to the campaign. Interesting isn’t it?

Further, IKEA maximizes its campaign visibility and engagement by launching its campaign across various channels, including digital platforms, print, and social media. 


Why It Worked

This campaign was not only made relatable to regional audiences in Penang but also serves as a heartfelt touch to Penang’s rich cultural heritage. 

By immersing themselves in the local language and traditions, IKEA has successfully demonstrated its effort to connect with the local Penang community. Consequently, the campaign generates widespread excitement for the new store opening. 

Notably, utilizing playful wordplay and relatable phrases evokes a sense of familiarity, making IKEA feel more approachable and relevant to the local audience!

All in all, this localized approach fosters a sense of belonging and creates a positive perception of IKEA as a brand that respects and appreciates local traditions.



These various brand-localized campaigns in Malaysia have effectively tapped into local cultural traditions, the local language, and also festive occasions. By planning a campaign that is significantly relevant, these brands have established an emotional connection with Malaysian audiences. 

Evidently, going local is an effective campaign strategy that can help brands to get more engagement, increase awareness, and ultimately, attract more customers. 

We know it can be hard to come up with a localized marketing strategy, but you can get in touch with us at WEBQLO for some ideas!



SEPHORA X Rizman Ruzaini

McDonald's Merdeka Day 

SAYS - McDonald's Bukit Bintang Changed Their Sign To 'Mekdi' And We're Lovin' It

Ikea’s Quirky Word-Play Campaign for New Store in Malaysia

Senior Creative Designer: Will Wai
Digital Content Strategist: Nik Nayly