Jollibee Marketing Strategy: Why Filipinos Love Jollibee So Much

Every Filipinos living out of the republic would make their way to nearest Jollibee outlet in their hometown neighbourhood just to reminisce the fond memories of their childhood. Look at the history, the marketing strategy of Jollibee makes the brand win over Filipinos’ hearts and beat the competition from McDonald’s. 

Most of us, I think, are familiar with Philippines, the archipelago country.
When I say Philippines, most of us would think of the beautiful beaches and emerald ocean.
(Fun fact: Philippines is made up of more than 700 islands and classified into 3 main regions!)
Palawan Island
Now, are you familiar with Jollibee?
If you haven’t heard of it, Jollibee is a multinational chain of fast food restaurants and a household name in the Philippines. Also, lo and behold, the bestseller is the infamous crispy on the outside and tender on the inside – perfectly seasoned fried chicken which can bring instant joy to anyone.
Jollibee marketing strategy - outlet

Image via: narcity

From my own first-hand experience of growing up and spending my childhood in Makati City, Manila, I can affirm that Jollibee is the all-time favourite among the Filipinos! (Even McDonalds and KFC were unable to overtake Jollibee’s popularity in the Philippines!)

Now, what exactly made Jollibee won the hearts of 100 millions people of the Republika ng Pilipinas? The Jolibee marketing strategy of Jollibee is one of the key success factors.


  1. The Touching Commercials

Recently, Muslims in Malaysia and around the world celebrated Hari Raya and we can see all kinds of ads, especially tv ads, be it touching or hilarious, coloured our tv and Youtube.
And Petronas, known for the legendary TV commercials, has not failed to make us laugh and cry with the quality ads and marketing materials they came up for every celebration we have in Malaysia.
(If any millennials or generation Y reading this, you might still remember the legendary “Ikan di laut, asam di darat” commercials produced by Petronas for the Deepavali and Hari Raya celebrations!)
Similarly,  The Filipino fast food chain Jollibee has produced quite a number of touching commercials as one of their marketing strategies in conjunction with many public holidays and celebrations in the Philippines!
For example, on Valentine 2017, Jollibee released a series of heartbreaking tv advertisements called “Crush”, “Date” and “Vow” that had been viewed for a whopping 57 million views on Youtube alone!
(My colleague, Hakim cried heavily when he finished watching these series!)
The emotional appeal is very enticing. Those tear jerker promo ads are certainly moving and will literally move you towards a Jollibee store. They know their target audience well and produced magnetic tv commercials touching the hearts of millions of Filipinos.

  1. American Cuisine with Filipino Twist

One glimpse and you may think that Jollibee is an American fast food restaurant chain. But the truth is that Jollibee was founded by a Filipino, Mr Tony Tan.
Started out as a humble ice-cream parlour in Quezon City, now an emerging multinational company is a homegrown Filipino family business.
Jollibee choices of the menu is a fusion of Western menu with Filipino taste. Jollibee perfected their recipes to cater to the palate of Filipinos’ love for food!
One of their best-seller items, ChickenJoy was designed to fit in with other Filipino cuisines. Served with rice or spaghetti and fried chicken, just the way Filipino eat at their home!
Jollibee Marketing Strategy

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Surely, the familiar feelings of home, will linger at everyone’s heart, making Jollibee as one of the places of memories.
(Speaking of the comfort of home, did you know that Starbucks aims to be the third place after your cozy home and your workplace?)
In fact, Filipinos commonly choose Jollibee outlets as their #1 choice to hold their parties. Graduation party, baptism party, birthday party, name it all! Not just parties, but also sometimes random barkada or tropa (both refer to circle of best friends) meetups!
Now, McDonald’s did the same thing in Malaysia and Singapore. The moment Nasi Lemak Burger and Nasi Ayam McD were introduced, they instantly became a huge hit in these two countries!

  1. The embodiment of the spirit of Filipinos.

Now that we have come this far, have you wondered why Jollibee mascot is a bee?
Jollibee Marketing Strategy
It has something to do with the saying that all Filipinos hold dear to their hearts;

“Isang Kain Isang Tuka”

This phrase means that despite being busy because of work or any hardship, Filipinos can always do what others can’t, and that’s to hope for the better and seal it with a sweet smile.
The mascot, also called Jollibee is the representation of hard work in which bees have always been depicted with. Often seen with few jars of honey, the mascot hopes to bring the definition of “hard work would be rewarded with sweet success.”
This serves as a proof to the resilience of the Filipinos, despite the long years of being colonised by other powers such as the Spanish and the US, Filipinos still stay true to their tradition and identity.

The mascot is part of the Jollibee marketing strategy to build the brand identity and develop relationships with customers. It works very well for the brand!

McDonald’s experienced a hard time entering the Filipino market, despite the idolisation and obsession to the Americans (or generally the West) among Filipino in the ’90s.
When McDonald’s appeared in the Philippines around 1981, Jollibee had just a few outlets but surpassed McDo (in local slang) in just 4 years!
The marketing strategy of Jollibee is the most important factor that made the brand so popular in the Republic. That’s how can Jollibee becomes a place where most Filipino spent their time.
Jollibee’s menu is very affordable for most of the Filipino population. So, Jollibee is a blessing for the struggling parents where they can bring their kids to eat good food while saving up a few bucks for rainy days.
McDonald’s in the Philippines went down in history as a major embarrassment. This inspiring story serves as the basis of Filipino pride, a local brand beating an international giant brand.
The good news is, Jollibee will be opening their new outlets in a few countries including Malaysia!
So, in the near future, you can go and enjoy the national obsession of the Philippines!

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