Best Ad Campaigns of 2020
Advertisers had to do something pretty extraordinary this year: completely and quickly adapt to a changing world. We’ve seen examples of how brands had to switch up their messaging and advertising campaigns to better represent what society was going through during the pandemic.
More people were staying home, watching tv, scrolling through their phones, consuming more media. Brands had more of an opportunity to grab their target audience’s attention during 2020. While not all of the best campaigns focused on this year’s new reality for people, many of the most-watched ads were ones that got creative and heartfelt to connect to the people at home.
Ad Age compiles their list of best campaigns by tallying up the most-watched ads on their website. Do any of these campaigns fall into your list of best campaigns for 2020?
McDonald’s, “Reindeer Ready”
McDonald’s UK builds on their previous Christmas campaigns by showing the spirit of the holiday through the eyes of children. The ad not only promotes their happy meals but gets every viewer in the holiday spirit.
John Lewis & WaitRose, “Give a little love”
This campaign is part of a charity push to help suffering families amid the pandemic. Unlike the company’s campaigns in the past, this one follows a deeper narrative created by eight artists. All of this illustrates (according to John Lewis): “How acts of kindness, large and small, can multiply and positively impact the world in which we live as we pass them on to others.”
Citi, “True Name”
Citi went for social relevance with this ad that depicts a transgender male deciding on a new name. Success with ads comes from connecting with people and showing using emotions to make them feel something. This ad did a perfect job with that.
Now let’s take a look at what the internet thinks were some of the best ads of 2020:
Volkswagon, “The last mile”
After more than eight decades as one of the most iconic cars ever built, Volkswagen is saying goodbye to the Beetle, and it’s doing so with an animated ad that looks back on fans both past and present. The animated ad includes Kevin Bacon who famously drove the car in Footloose, globetrotters, protesters, and others who have been impacted by the Beetle in some way.
Burger King, “Moldy Whopper”
Burger King’s central message — that the Whopper grew moldy because it had no artificial preservatives — was ranked as the “single best thing” about the ad among those surveyed. The “Moldy Whopper” spot accumulated more than 1.7 million YouTube hits at press time following its Feb. 19 debut.
Google, “When there’s help, there’s hope”
According to Google Trends, searches for “how to help” were at an all-time high during the pandemic. People around the world are searching for ways to help their communities, the elderly, small businesses, and essential workers. Google capitalized on this with a touching ad that shows were all in this together.
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