From the Barbie movie takeover to a McDonald's advert, discover Clevercherry’s top picks for the best marketing campaigns of 2023 and why they were successful.

McDonald’s - #RaiseYourArches

This campaign brilliantly captures the subtle art of office communication as colleagues effortlessly signal their lunch plans at McDonald's with just a raised eyebrow.

The 60-second ad avoids overt branding or over-the-top elements, opting for cleverly inconspicuous details that subtly embed McDonald's in viewers' minds. These include a hand-drawn 'M' on a yellow post-it note, the yellow shirt and red skirt worn by the woman opening and closing the ad, and the iconic 'golden arches' cleverly represented by the actors' raised eyebrows.

Key Facts:

  • 98% of consumers easily identified the ad as promoting McDonald's.
  • Recognition peaked within the first 10 seconds.

The impact of the ad has garnered praise from McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski, who said, 'Even though the campaign never showcases our food, restaurants, or mentions our brand name, it's nonetheless instantly recognisable as only McDonald's. Imagine that—a brand so powerful it requires no introduction.'



…do we even need to say anything else? 2023 was officially the year everything turned pink.

Barbie, with months of eager anticipation, emerged as one of the most anticipated movies in history. The pre-release marketing campaigns surrounding the film captured widespread attention due to clever branding assets, presenting a stark contrast to the approach taken by the McDonald's ad.

In this case, the marketing campaign heavily relied on the strength of Barbie's distinctive brand assets. These marketing campaigns were so strong that the movie poster itself featured no logo, product, actors, or text - only the unmistakable 'Barbie pink' and the release date.

The phenomenon extended beyond the movie, with numerous getting involved with the Barbie marketing, reaching diverse audiences. From Barbie-themed Crocs and Airbnb's Malibu Dreamhouse, to the BBC transforming Doctor Who's Tardis into a shade of pink and Burger King introducing a Barbie burger, the trend had everyone’s adverts turning pink. These collaborations resonated strongly on social media, sustaining a vibrant promotional drumbeat for the movie in the months leading up to its launch.

Will we see anything like this in 2024?


Cadbury – Garage

For the past five years, Cadbury has effectively used its 'Glass and a Half' brand advert, centred on a simple and heartwarming message of generosity. Campaigns like 'Mum’s Birthday' and 'Speakerphone' have engaged audiences with this straightforward theme.

Cadbury's first effort in 2023, titled 'Garage’, followed the same template but reached new heights. The advertisement revolves around a garage cashier receiving a chocolate bar from her dad, embodying simplicity yet incredible effectiveness.

Here are some key facts:

  • This ad grew Cadbury’s brand value by 47.6%
  • Annual sales raised by 22%
  • This ad won a Marketing Week Grand Prix award


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