As we bid farewell to 2023, it becomes indisputable that this year has been a crescendo in the symphony of curated entertainment. Leading the charge in this cinematic resurgence were Jawan, Pathaan, Gadar 2 and Animal, each grossing above Rs.500 crores. But we also saw some exciting marketing trends in India and globally, especially with the highest grossing film of 2023 Barbie.
Movie Marketing Trends
The unique marketing trend this year was renaming the promos or trailers released digitally pre-release. Jawan’s promo was called a ‘Prevue’, Pathaan trailer as ‘Pathan ka Conversation’. Tiger 3’s trailer was ‘Tiger ka Message’, while the Dream Girl trailer was labelled ‘Pooja ka Kiss’.
Similarly, Dunki released ranking the trailers as a series of ‘Drops’ (Drop1 to Drop 8). Although Dunki was set in a tier 3 city, it had a series of brand integrations in it, with some really glaring ones like Astral Pipes, Qatar Airways, Rayban, Coca-cola and Vespa. Mumbai Duty Free at International Airport teamed up with SRK to promote Dunki by offering travellers a chance to win exclusive merchandise and film tickets. SRK fan clubs were used to create buzz and excitement across cities. Team SRK issued a ‘Dunki Passport Souvenir’ – all the fans attending FDFS got stamps of different activities on their ‘passport’.
There were a few more trends like delaying media one-on-one interactions for post release, theme of white hearts and promo releases timed to 11:11 (pure love theme) for Satyaprem Ki Katha, global launch for the film Bawaal on the ship Queen Elizabeth 2 in Dubai, film promotions on Burj Khalifa and Global Village in Dubai. Also, OTT releases like Archies and Kho Gaye Hum Kahan did extremely innovative billboard campaigns.
But the new movie marketing Bible is the Barbie. Even if you aren’t a fan of Barbie, you couldn’t escape the noise around Mattel and Warner Bros's flick, which dominated the world in 2023. It was by far the most successful marketing campaign of the year. They literally painted the world pink with Xbox gaming consoles, convertible cars, retail merchandise, Starbucks Barbie Frappuccino, pink burgers at Burger King, special ice-creams at Cold Stone and a Barbie Malibu dream house for rent on Airbnb.
Barbie also utilised a whopping $ 10 mn marketing budget to create a campaign with compelling stories and themes of friendship, empowerment, diversity, inclusivity and self-identity which resonated with young girls and millennials from all backgrounds. This strategy created and strengthened emotional connections with its target audience, essentially releasing new elements of the movie at a time evoking curiosity and engagement.
However, what truly sets Barbie apart was their ability to maintain momentum even after the shows were released. While many might have considered their job done post-release, the Barbie team adopted an unyielding approach, continuing to promote the movie on their well-established platforms – Instagram and YouTube.