We all know it’s been a bit of a weird year (understatement of 2020?!), but one of the positives we’ve loved seeing is how creative some brands have become! Thinking outside of the box, planning and filming remotely, and making budgets work even harder than usual are just some of the ways we’ve adapted. In today’s blog, we take a look back over the last crazy year, and pick out some of our favourite campaigns…
Working and filming from home
If you’ve watched any TV (as opposed to Netflix or Disney+), you’ll have seen the VOXI by Vodafone ads. The brand led the way with filming content from home, with tongue-in-cheek, fun captions and use of emojis to appeal to its youth target market. It also highlighted how it was possible to plan, film and produce a full TV campaign from home, using the latest digital and mobile (yes, smartphones), technology: VOXI advert filmed and produced entirely from home in UK first
Apart. But never alone
ITV encouraged us to reconnect and check in on our friends and family. The TV network’s mental health campaign returned with a special message for the nation during the crisis this summer, with a very important message.
TV’s favourite duo, Ant and Dec addressed the nation, urging us to connect with those who need it most, whether by phone or social media. A selection of heartfelt messages were played on ITV every day, with the aim of keeping spirits high. Celebrities also got involved to highlight how we are all affected by the pandemic, with guests including Davina McCall, Alex Beresford and Gordon Ramsay participating. The goal of the campaign was to encourage people to talk more openly to help each other’s mental wellbeing – which has never been more important.
Watch some of the highlights here:
No, I’m not about to address the nation. I’m telling you about the Uber campaign thanking customers for “not riding with us” during lockdown. Heartfelt, emotive and utterly raw, the campaign was a beautiful collection of real, homemade videos of what everyone was experiencing during lockdown.
No promotion, no sales messages and no jazzy marketing jargon. Just an honest collage of our lives during the pandemic, urging us to stay home for those that can’t.
Watch it (with tissues at the ready!), here:
We are family
Another brand that nailed the “stay home” message was McCain. Always one to focus on family and making time for each other, the brand’s positioning worked perfectly with its lockdown messaging. It summed up our collective lockdown experience and encouraged us to see the positives, enjoy the extra family time and look forward to when we can get outside again.
Similarly, it featured no hard sales tactics, just enjoying family time together around a meal and, of course, McCain chips!
You love it (or maybe you hate it?)
Changing pace a little now. Marmite has always been a brand to go nuts with its campaigns, and this year was no different! At the start of the year, the company introduced a new peanut butter spread with a twist of Marmite, both in smooth and crunchy varieties. Teamed with a dancing squirrel and hypnotising graphics, we’re told that we do in fact, “Love it!”
It’s just 10 seconds and definitely worth a watch:
We know lots of influencers worked hard to keep us positive and moving during Lockdown 1.0, but Joe really kept the nation moving with his free, daily PE With Joe sessions. A huge hit thanks to his workouts being suitable for all generations and abilities, the daily inspiration, motivation and fun helped to improve our physical and mental health during the crisis. The Friday fancy dress also proved popular, with millions getting involved during its 18-week run. Joe donated all £500,000 of the YouTube ad revenue generated by PE With Joe to NHS charities.
Not unsurprisingly the campaign worked wonders for his own brand too. He’s now a bona fide national treasure, was announced in the Queen’s Birthday Honours with an MBE this summer and recently received Blue Peter’s highest accolade – the Gold Badge Award – for his epic 24 hour Children in Need challenge, raising more than £2.5million for the charity. AND he’s back doing three live sessions a week for the duration of Lockdown 2.0. What a hero!
IT’S CHRISTMASSSS (almost)
Sorry, I said the C-word! But it’s almost time to put the tree up, yes?
I’m sure there will be a full blog dedicated to our Christmas faves, but an early contender is from TK MAXX. A little bit of fashion, a lot of sass and some proper country fun! We’re loving the tongue-in-cheek style video and feel it represents the brand entirely, and let’s be honest – who doesn’t deserve to be treated this Christmas!
Watch it (over and over again) here:
Time for a cuppa?
Just enough time for one final thought – and something we’ve shared before (which you loved!), is a shout out to Yorkshire Tea.
Here’s hoping that Lockdown 2.0 will soon be a distant memory and we can physically see our friends, family and colleagues again. Enter, the socially-distanced tea pot. Humorous, relatable and so relevant right now, we love it!
Check it out here:
We want to know which ads have brought you some joy this year? Slide into our DMs, comment on any of social channels or say hello: firstname.lastname@example.org.
And if you want some creative ideas for your brand, check out our Revitalise & Grow sessions. Completely free, take only 30 minutes of your time and you will come away with actionable tips for making your business even more successful.