The Best Marketing Campaigns of 2020

Let’s face it, 2020 hasn’t been the greatest year! But, with us spending a lot more time in front of the TV and on social media, we’ve had the opportunity to witness some incredible advertising. As we finish the year, our Leeds agency is looking back at some of the best marketing campaigns of 2020.
 

KFC: Pausing their Slogan

 
This year has been incredibly unpredictable, but we’d never have guessed we’d see a time when the Colonel’s signature statement became irrelevant. That’s right, in August, after 64 years, KFC binned off the ‘it’s finger lickin’ good’ tagline. The company felt that it didn’t “quite fit in” with the heightened hygiene measures brought in by the pandemic – a classic example of how marketing has had to use initiative and creativity to adapt to the current environment.
KFC marketing

Photo credit: ITV

 

Expedia: Let’s Take a Trip

 
If there’s one thing that’s kept us going through 2020, it’s hope. With travel restrictions in place much of the year, travel advertisements have been few and far between. However, Expedia jumped on the scene and dared to be a little different. Their advert helped us dream, encouraging customers to plan their future holidays.
 
Using stop motion animation, living room items are repurposed to reflect various vacation scenarios, from swimming pool diving to car driving. This powerful ad shows that, until we can safely live our travel dreams, imagination is key and inspiration can be right at your feet!
Expedia Marketing

Photo credit: Youtube

 

Yorkshire Tea: The Social Distancing Teapot

 
As a Leeds agency, we love an excuse to talk about the best tea in the world. However, from a professional point of view, (and not just our own regional loyalties) Yorkshire Tea’s PR Stunt is definitely something to shout about! The question; how do we tackle the tea round when we return to the office? The obvious answer; a teapot with a two metre long spout. Their humorous and uplifting advertisement works to tackle the nations’ anxieties with a much-needed laugh. Bravo!
Yorkshire Tea Marketing

Photo credit: Youtube

 

Sainsburys: Gravy Song

 
This heartwarming advert is part of a three part advertisement campaign, centering around different families at Christmas. ‘The Gravy Song’ portrays a phone call between a father and daughter, as both acknowledge they may not be able to see each other over the festive period. As they reminisce on Christmas past, the advert hones in on how food can create fond memories and bring people together.
 
Surely everyone loved this advert, right? Wrong. It caused outrage from some… because the portrayed family is black; something which trolls said “doesn’t represent” them. Sainsburys responded to the racist remarks to say they “aim to represent a modern Britain, which has a diverse range of communities”. We stand with Sainsburys, and hope that the inclusivity shown in this beautiful advert is reflected in future marketing campaigns!
Sainsburys Advert

Photo credit: Youtube

 

HM Government: Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.

 
In a break from tradition, we’re featuring an awful campaign with a brilliant backlash. The government, in partnership with Cyber First, launched a series of adverts urging people in the creative section to “rethink” their career choices, and train as an IT worker instead. Unsurprisingly, this did not go down well with the creative industry, and they responded in the best way – with hundreds of hilarious memes.
 
From politicians who’s “next job could be in Pret”, to William Shakespeare retraining to work in an Amazon warehouse; the photoshop opportunities were endless. Good old Boris responded to the backlash by pulling the campaign, commenting that it “was not appropriate”. You’re not wrong there lad – in future it’s probably best not to offend an industry that can create a damn good meme.
Rethink. Reskill. Reboot.

Photo credit: HM Government

 

Emily’s Snacks: Outdoor Adverts

 
When Emily’s Snacks bought some outdoor media space in December 2019, they thought that the following April would be the perfect time to advertise; Easter holidays, bank holiday weekend, warmer weather…how wrong they were. Realising their campaign would not be seen by many people at all, they made four hilarious new ads. They highlighted their marketing mishap, with messaging such as “Do an ad when it’s warmer, they said. More people will see it, they said. Pfft”. The snack company reflected the struggles of marketing in 2020 in an incredibly witty way!
Emily's Snacks

Photo credit: Marketing Week

 

Miami Ad School: Netflix Spoiler Billboards

 
It isn’t often that excellence and evil go hand in hand; but when they do, the outcome can be exceptional. With hopes of encouraging people to stay home during lockdown, two students from Miami Ad School invented a unique idea for billboards in high traffic spaces. These would contain spoilers for popular Netflix shows, to deter people from public gatherings; in their own words “if the virus doesn’t stop you going out, the spoilers will”. Although this campaign wasn’t the real deal, we think it’s a fantastic idea as it delivered the ‘stay at home’ message in a non-typical way, intertwining comedy and threat perfectly.
Netflix Spoilers

Photo credit: Instagram

 

The New Yorker: Cover Stories

 
Renowned for their innovative covers, the front page artwork of recent New Yorker issues reflect lockdown experiences that we can all relate to. One illustration shows a woman on a video call. To the camera, she appears to have her life together with her posh shirt and cocktail, but in reality her messy flat is anything but organised. This serves as a message to us all that it’s okay not to have the ‘perfect’ home set up. Keep checking up on each other though, guys.
The New Yorker Cover

Photo credit: The New Yorker

 

Amazon: The Show Must Go On

 
Emotive marketing campaigns have been all the rage this year, and Amazon’s Christmas advert has jumped right on that bandwagon. The ad tells the story of a determined young ballerina who doesn’t let the challenges of 2020 ruin her dreams. From the mass clap for the NHS to the rally of donations to Captain Tom, the sense of community here in the UK has been high. So, to see this ballerina performing to a supportive audience of neighbours is truly heartwarming, and taps into the nation’s mood.
Amazon Christmas Advert

Photo credit: Youtube

 

The Great British Bake Off: Series 11 Coming Soon Teaser

 
Last, but by no means least, we’re giving a shout out to a national treasure. The panic buying of the first lockdown saw the most basic essential items become incredibly rare (loo roll, we’re looking at you). The Great British Bake Off showcased this in their promotional teaser, where neighbours vent their frustrations at being unable to find flour, whilst a grandson cycles to deliver a bag to his nan. By combining humour and heartwarming ethics, this advert is a successful example of how marketing can project key brand values – and make us very hungry.
Great British Bake Off

Photo credit: Youtube

 
We hope you enjoyed our ten best marketing campaigns of 2020. We don’t mean to blow our own trumpet (we do), but we’re pretty good at marketing too. If you need the help of our creative Leeds agency, click here and we’ll get the ball rolling.

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