2023 Marketing Wrapped

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2023 was a year for the marketing books. It was a year where the air crackled with innovation and creativity, where Barbie didn’t just paint the town pink, but the entire world. From Chandrayaan 3 memes that rocketed across the digital galaxy to the roaring fever of the ICC Cricket World Cup, it was a year that kept us glued, cheering, and meme-ing like there’s no tomorrow. Strap in, because we’re about to dive into the biggest, boldest, and most brain-tickling marketing moments that shaped the year. Get your popcorn ready and let’s rewind through the year’s most spectacular campaigns that had us cheering, pondering, and possibly even scratching our heads.

Barbie Core

It’s safe to say that in the scorching summer of 2023, Barbie pink ruled the palette. From fashion runways to tech innovations, it was a year where Barbie wasn’t just a toy; she was a muse, a trendsetter, and a magnet pulling brands into her vibrant universe. Not only did Warner Bros. localise their promotions but they did it at the most unlikely place and in the most imaginative way. For example, the Barbie Blowout party at St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai gave us immense FOMO. Other Indian brands too clamoured to ride the Barbie trend bandwagon, releasing a kaleidoscope of campaigns. Dunzo Daily, the Bangalore-based grocery shopping and delivery service app, delivered orders in customised pink Barbie boxes in collaboration with the creator Srishti Dixit. The copy on the box read “Bhabhi nahi Barbie hun main.” Amul, which stands as a vanguard in the realm of moment marketing with its iconic Amul Girl, also dipped their buttery fingers into the Barbie trend, proving once again that they’re always ahead of the marketing game.

Chandrayaan 3 Memes & Moments

As Chandrayaan 3 marked India as the first country to land near the lunar south pole, brands wasted no time in capitalising on the achievement. Afterall what’s a historical feat without a bit of meme- worthy celebration, right? Brand pages were buzzing with the cleverest and most heartwarming messages, applauding ISRO’s triumph while sneakily sliding their own brands into the cosmic conversation. Below, are some of my favourite instances of how brands ingeniously incorporated the Chandrayaan 3 landing into their moment marketing campaigns.

Brands Stepping up to Bat

In 2023, the ICC Cricket World Cup fever wasn’t just about matches; it was a battlefield for brands. Boomer Bubble gum, Royal Stag, and Vicks were just a few that teamed up with cricket stars, making the advertising pitch as exciting as the game itself. But HSBC and Oreo were two brands that knocked it out of the marketing stadium. HSBC India‘s campaign featuring the cricket icon Virat Kohli wasn’t just a commercial; it was a nostalgic journey through his cricketing legacy, culminating in a transformation tale that hit us right in the feels and echoed HSBC’s ‘My Account Starts Today’ slogan. Oreo with their “Oreo Bola Mat Bol” campaign hit the sweet spot in marketing by featuring the ever-charismatic MS Dhoni and capitalising on people’s superstitions and jinxes around the sport. It also urged people to send positive vibes to the team ahead of the World Cup.

Market-AI-ng Maestros

If there’s one marketing trend that’s kicked down the door and strutted its way into the limelight this year, it’s the rise of digital AI/CGI campaigns. With these new AI tricks up their sleeves, marketers can whip up mind-boggling experiential scenes on social media without breaking the bank on production costs. Leading the pack into this digital trend was Maybelline, who dipped their brushes into AI to jazz up their mascara promotions. The video of a London tube train rolling in, rocking fluttery lashes, being caressed by a mascara wand as it arrives on the station went viral quickly. The brand later followed up with several other videos created similarly using AI. Other brands like Fenty Beauty, ba&sh, L’Oréal, Jacquemus, Isabel Marant released their own CGI videos pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the realm of ads. Closer to home, Indian brands stepped into the CGI spotlight with their own dazzling displays. Shopper’s Stop revamped their store facade using AI to announce their ‘What a Wow Sale.’ Meanwhile, Almost Gods turned holiday packaging into an art form with a clever CGI video. My personal favourite is Fae Beauty’s video showing their liquid lipstick cascading over the Gateway of India.

The Encore

As the curtains draw on the marketing saga of 2023, it is evident that in the pages of marketing history, 2023 etched its vibrant, innovative, and unforgettable chapter. It was a year where marketing stole the spotlight by rewriting the rules and flipping the script, leaving us all in awe of the creative brilliance at play. But in this symphony of brand brilliance, a poignant note lingered: the evolving expectations of conscious consumers. As we navigate this era of ethical mindfulness, brands and marketers must find the delicate balance between mesmerizing campaigns and meaningful impact.

Cheers to the marketers, the innovators, and the conscious consumers—we’re all part of this brilliant narrative, waiting to script the chapters that follow.


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Dunzo Daily Delivers Customised Barbie Boxes in a Supposed Collab with Srishti Dixit. 10 July 2023, https://www.afaqs.com/news/mktg/dunzo-daily-delivers-customised-barbie-boxes-in-a- supposed-collab-with-srishti-dixit.

Kazi, Arif. ‘Chandrayaan-3: A Sparkle of Creativity in the World of Brandverse’. Financialexpress, 2 Sept. 2023, https://www.financialexpress.com/business/brandwagon-chandrayaan-3-a-sparkle-of- creativity-in-the-world-of-brandverse-3230991/.

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Mundy, Jon. ‘A Fake Mascara Video Hoodwinked The Public – Is It Outdoor Advertising? | The Drum’. The Drum, 14 July 2023, https://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2023/07/14/fake-mascara-video- hoodwinked-the-public-it-outdoor-advertising.

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Rakshit, Shrobana. ‘Ads That Captivated Audiences at the 2023 Cricket World Cup’. The Media Ant, 18 Oct. 2023, https://www.themediaant.com/blog/ads-that-captivated-audiences-at-the-2023-cricket- world-cup/.

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Shaikh, Tanzila. ‘Salman Khan Turns 58: Ads and Endorsements of the Bhai of Brands – Exchange4media’. Indian Advertising Media & Marketing News – Exchange4media, 27 Dec. 2023, https://www.exchange4media.com/marketing-news/salman-khan-turns-58-ads-and-endorsements-of- the-bhai-of-brands-131634.html.