How AI became the secret sauce for festive marketing success this year

As in the case of almost every field, Artificial Intelligence has started making deep inroads into advertising as well. It functions as a highly intelligent computer companion, lending its expertise to brands in crafting their campaigns. Picture it as a magical wizard working behind the scenes, enhancing everything with its brilliance. Whether they are working on regular advertisements or preparing something special for festive occasions, every brand desires to incorporate AI capabilities.

So, what’s the big deal about AI? It’s akin to having an exceptionally smart friend who understands people’s preferences. Brands aim to utilise AI to grasp what we, the customers, like, creating ads that are super personalised.

Especially during festivals, brands are seen moving beyond traditional ads and diving into the world of AI. They aspire for their advertisements to be more than just promotional material – they want them to be captivating stories that resonate with the consumers’ emotions. And guess what? AI is the secret ingredient that helps them achieve precisely that!

Hence, every brand, regardless of its size, aspires to incorporate AI into their campaigns. It’s not just about embracing advanced technology; it’s about crafting ads that feel unique and leave a lasting impression in our minds. It signifies a fresh approach to the advertising realm, and everyone is eager to be a part of this exciting transformation.

Mondelez triggered a paradigm shift with its groundbreaking ‘Not just a Cadbury Ad’ campaign, unleashing a tidal wave of transformative AI-powered initiatives in the realm of festive advertising. This pioneering move served as a catalyst, compelling brands across diverse industries to re-evaluate and revolutionise their marketing strategies. In the dynamic landscape of marketing and advertising, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as an undeniable game-changer, fundamentally altering how brands connect with their audience, particularly during the celebratory fervour of the festive season.

Emphasising the critical role of AI in reimagining both customer and employee experiences, Mehernosh Pithawalla, SVP & Head of Brand & Strategic Insights, Godrej & Boyce, said, “The adoption of AI will play a critical role to further re-imagine the customer experience and enhance employee experience. At Godrej & Boyce, we’ve embraced digital investments to elevate customer experiences and foster loyalty. For instance, our Smart Care Whatsapp chatbot expedites query resolution, enhancing our B2C and service-oriented B2B interactions. Leveraging AI-powered Programmatic Advertising has been instrumental in our targeted outreach, amplifying the impact of our digital campaigns. Technology’s evolution in marketing is pivotal, enabling far superior personalisation and revolutionising customer experiences. In the festive season, we have had strong campaigns across OTT, digital, and print that focuses on our wide range of offerings. Our business, Godrej Appliances is connecting with consumers through interactive commercials using Augmented Reality as part of their #AyushmannBhavaForever festive campaign.”

Shuvadip Banerjee, Chief Digital Marketing Officer, ITC Foods, highlighted the massive change in consumer and business interactions brought about by AI and Gen AI. He noted, “In the digital era, consumer and business interaction has undergone massive change, especially with the advent of modern tech such as AI and Gen AI. Through the usage of Artificial Intelligence, we have been able to craft communication and campaigns which are more personalised and help us establish a deeper connection with our consumers. During the recent Durga Puja in West Bengal, brands leveraged AI to create campaigns that resonated with the overall celebration mood of the Bengali community and the arrival of Goddess Durga.”

Citing an example of Sunfeast Mom’s magic, Banerjee said, “Sunfeast Mom’s Magic created one-of-a-kind 1008 Durga Avatars of real mothers using AI. The entire Ahiritola Puja Pandal in Kolkata was decked up with these avatars, which generated a lot of eyeballs from eminent personalities, celebrities as well as the public. Likewise, Aashirvaad team installed a booth powered by Gen AI at the Baghbazar Pujo pandal, where mothers had the chance to embody Maa Durga’s avatar through the use of technology. One unique initiative deployed by Aashirvaad was they used sensor-based tech to generate electricity through the participation of women in Dhunichi dance competition and used this electricity to light up many homes in a village.”

Sheena Kapoor, Head - Marketing, Corporate Communications & CSR, ICICI Lombard, noted, “The festive season in India presents a prime occasion for brands in every domain to establish deeper connections with consumers on a personal level. AI has empowered us to craft exceptionally personalised and pertinent content, ranging from product recommendations to tailored messaging. Especially during the festive season, the impact of personalised marketing campaigns is more pronounced, fostering stronger resonance with consumers and subsequently boosting engagement and conversion rates. As we look ahead, the next 24 months are poised to be transformative and pivotal, signifying a paradigm shift in our approach and strategies. As AI technology continues to advance, its role in shaping creative marketing and influencing consumer spending is expected to expand further, both during festive seasons and beyond.”

She further said, “From a marketing perspective, AI has probably opened up newer avenues that one couldn’t have imagined before. In today’s ever-evolving world, endless opportunities and transformative experiences are opening before us. It’s essential for all brands to continue to adapt and embrace emerging technologies and platforms. AI has made marketing easier for brands. It helps understand what consumers want and then cater to their preferences accordingly. It can also help improve existing products, create new ones, and build better relationships with customers.”

“Marketers are leveraging martech platforms and intelligent bots that continuously evolve through NLP and deep learning techniques. AI will continue to dominate and shape the content landscape in the months and years to come, augmenting human intelligence throughout the customer journey. ICICI Lombard recently launched an industry-first groundbreaking AI-led digital campaign, ‘Claim your Calm’, that aimed to create behavioural changes in the underpenetrated Indian market, emphasising the synergy between ‘protection through Insurance’ and a ‘tranquil state of mind’. The campaign brilliantly showcased our commitment to innovation. AI Midjourney Tool was instrumental in scripting, voicing, and visualising the campaign,” Kapoor elaborated.


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