Antoinette Benoit, Winner of the 2019 Marketer of the Year
Joining McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited as Chief Marketing Officer in 2014, Antoinette Benoit has been recognized as a leader that continues to educate and inspire current and future marketers. Her belief in constant innovation and high returns resulted in the tripling of the digital media budget and an increased focus on employer reputation and the customer and digital experience.
A native of Paris, France, Benoit held product management roles at both Unilever and Colgate Palmolive in France, and graduated from Sciences-Po in 1990 before obtaining her Master’s Degrees in Political Science and Marketing. Benoit joined McDonald’s France in 1997 and held various positions such as Marketing Manager – Kids & Family, Senior Marketing Manager – Brand Food & Value, and Director – Menu Innovation. In 2007, Benoit moved to the European Centre and took on the role of Senior Director – Market (Europe). She later became the Vice President, Strategy & Insights at McDonald’s Europe where she was a member of the McDonald’s European Management Team, Chair of the European Strategy & Insights Leadership Team and Chair of the European Women’s Leadership Network.
- Under Benoit’s leadership, the marketing ROI of McDonald’s Canada has increased by 33 per cent with the last three years seeing the highest sales growth and market share in over ten years, which positioned Canada as one of McDonald’s top performing markets in the world
- Follow the Arches won a Cannes Lions Grand Prix in June 2018, which marked the first time a Canadian advertising campaign had won the prize since 2007, and was recognized within the brand’s global network as the best campaign in 2018
- National Cheeseburger Day resulted in a 65 per cent increase in redemptions for the deal and a 86 per cent increase in incremental restaurant sales from 2017 to 2018
- Beyond the Arch program with the Toronto Raptors won the NBA Partnership of the Year award in 2019, which resulted in two million redemptions representing 36 per cent of all McDonald’s app transactions in Ontario and a 21 per cent increase in all McNugget sales during the regular season
Benoit has been the recipient of many industry awards. In 2019, she was recognized as one of Strategy Magazine’s 2019 Marketers of the Year and was the first woman from Canada to make Ad Age’s Women to Watch US list in the over 20 years it has been in existence in May 2018.
Benoit was chosen to join 150 Canadian women as part of “Your Turn: Powerful Thoughts from Today’s Women to the Next” in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary where she spoke about the challenging but rewarding experience she had emigrating to Canada with two children and how important inclusion is to success. She also currently serves as a Board Member for Ronald McDonald House Canada in Toronto.
Benoit’s team also launched the Friends Wanted campaign in 2019, which differentiated McDonald’s in the youth employment market by encouraging friends to apply and work together.