Paradigm’s Top Industry Headlines of 2023
2023 started with AI at the forefront of our minds. ChatGPT officially hit over 100 million users this month — making it the fastest-growing consumer application to date. The application experienced ever-growing popularity with busy students, tech-curious consumers and beyond.
That same month, a different kind of AI struck the silver screen. M3GAN the doll showed us the negative outcomes of AI technology. But we have to admit — her dance moves were definitely a positive.
In February, the Super Bowl became the Battle of the Brothers. Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs went head to head with his brother Jason Kelce of the Philadelphia Eagles. But Paradigm’s Super Bowl aired between snaps. Our team was glued to the screen to find stand-out TV spots.
Pop Chips broke bad, bringing Jesse Pinkman and Walter White together once again to push snacks instead of…. You know. We’ll say what everyone was thinking: Someone cooked here.
March brought good news for everyone with anxiety on the aux cord. Spotify debuted its AI DJ to relieve users from queuing up the next song. Using OpenAI technology, the algorithm comes to know you, your favorite genres and countless music recommendations sure to strike a chord.
Believe us: Nothing gets past this guy. The AI DJ pulls from every one of your music eras, from breakup anthems to that one outrageous song you played one too many times.
The New York Times dropped its latest campaign in April — “More of Life, Brought to Life.” The campaign focused on the value of journalism not only in covering current events but also in explaining the interconnectedness of the world around us. Understanding sneakers turns to understanding hardwood to understanding Kareem Abdul Jabaar’s “Sky Hook” to thinking about flying — and so on.
The three-part digital experience, Sneakers, Gravity and Time, showcases how our imaginations change the trajectory of stories. A story about gravity can turn our attention toward conspiracy theories, stocks and beyond. After seeing this campaign, our team will keep our eyes peeled for the thread between the unexpected.
In May, Apple revealed innovative new accessibility features for people with disabilities. Assistive Access boils user experience features on the Camera, Photos, Music, Calls and Messages applications down to their base level — lightening the cognitive load on users. Meanwhile, Live Speech empowers Apple users to type a message and have it spoken out loud during phone and FaceTime calls.
These features brought us joy as we began a new partnership with local disability organization, Paraquad, in the following months.
June revealed to us that the future is in sight. Apple unveiled Apple Vision Pro — the company’s first spatial computer. In the blink of an eye these innovative new goggles will unlock incredible experiences for users and developers alike. The vast visual and audio capabilities makes the device the most advanced personal electronic ever.
Meanwhile, Bethesda Game Studios released its first gameplay trailer for Starfield in June. This game is the developer’s first new universe in over 25 years, giving players the opportunity to join humanity in their travels across the stars.
The game revealed that Earth was in ruins after the dissolution of its magnetosphere in 2203. While St. Louis became uninhabited, our client, the Gateway Arch, was still front and center — though it had seen better days. One thing was clear to us: the symbol of St. Louis will stand tall for centuries to come.
This summer, an unlikely double feature called “Barbenheimer” took cinemas by storm. Barbie and Oppenheimer showings opened on the same weekend and social media irony quickly turned into a cultural frenzy. People flooded the box office with crazy costumes and two tickets in hand.
The juxtaposition of nuclear weapons and pink-laden dolls captured the imagination of social media users and marketers alike. So, was Barbenheimer the Destroyer of Worlds — or the Savior of Social Media?
Bye Bye Birdie!
At the end of July, Elon Musk announced his decision to rebrand Twitter. The Twitter bird was set free the following month in favor of a new brand: X. But the iconic branding was slow to spread its wings, leaving a user experience mess in its wake. For weeks, the app’s homescreen icon remained a birdhouse and mentions of “tweets” still dotted our screens.
While the transition is now complete, the app’s original brand identity will be sorely missed. Fly high, Twitter bird (2006-2023).
In September, Coca-Cola Creations’ limited edition Y3000 products merged human insight and AI design to transport our taste buds through time. The soda’s packaging and flavor was molded around common emotions, aspirations, colors and flavors associated with the future.
Those who snagged a pack scanned a QR code to access the Coca‑Cola Creations Hub. There, they were able to filter photos through the custom Y3000 AI Cam to envision what their reality could look like in the year 3000.
The campaign let consumers finally see what the Jonas Brothers were talking about. Say hi to our great-great-great granddaughter for us.
On the sillier side, some brands used October to think outside the shoebox. Crocs announced the release of the Crocs cowboy boots, fitted with faux alligator leather and less-than-trusty plastic spurs. With a hefty amount of ventilation, these shoes let aspiring horsemen ride off into the sunset with a breeze between their toes.
The new product was the result of active consumer listening. Product development teams found years of social media memes of Crocs cowboy boots and chose to make it a reality. Some would argue the look is an acquired taste — but if you’ve already been new boot goofin’…well, bless your heart.
November sparked a conversation around trends in movie marketing. The Mean Girls remake trailer dropped and was quickly met with confusion. The movie is reportedly a musical, yet not one song or dance made the cut for the trailer.
Social media users took to their feeds, comparing this trailer to the trailers for upcoming musicals like Wonka and The Color Purple. Some wondered if phrases like “a bold new twist” were unintentionally misleading, as most audiences may not want a jump scare in a song. The strategy behind this marketing decision has yet to be seen — but we’re all ears.
We’ve come a long way from vacuum tubes and dial-up internet. International Business Machines (IBM) revealed the next evolution of computer technology — the IBM Quantum Heron processor and the IBM Quantum System Two computer.
The pairing reaches computing speeds far faster than classic, silicon-based computers. Now, problems in physics, chemistry, engineering and medicine that would once take millions of years may now only take minutes. As the old adage goes: we’ve got 99 problems, but speed ain’t one.
Catch the Paradigm Perspective
Thank you all for joining us in reflecting on the amazing year behind us. After having looked back, our team is even more excited for the developments to come in 2024. From our team to yours, have a happy holiday season and a happy New Year!
Ready to keep up with the world of marketing? From advancements in technology to trends in design, follow Paradigm’s blog for the latest industry insights throughout the year.