7 Digital Marketing Campaigns We Loved in 2020

This year has been a wild ride for a lot of people. Lockdown for many of us felt kind of like Groundhog Day combined with a glitch in the Matrix. And, for lack of a better word, it was just a bit sh*t.

However, one thing that kept us *slightly* sane was seeing the accumulation of brands that stepped up their game when it came to their digital marketing campaigns.

It was great to see brands getting creative with campaigns and producing original content without dwelling too much on the negative things happening in the world. 

There were a lot of strong contenders to choose from. But, we managed to narrow it down to 7 digital marketing campaigns we loved this year:

IKEA – A Good Night’s Sleep

IKEA have a knack of getting it spot on when it comes to their digital marketing. And 2020 was no exception. Yet again, they produced a perfectly executed visual campaign. 

Focussing on the benefits of a good night’s sleep, their UK and Ireland based campaign featured aesthetically pleasing remedies for sleep which were promoted online and across billboards. 

Shot by Amy Currell, their ad campaign featured a series of posters which sees anti-ageing creams, energy drinks and vitamin supplements filled with IKEA bedding products. The campaign images’ simplicity made it an instant hit, and they were shared across social media. It became a reminder that a good night’s sleep can do a world of good in stressful times.

Spotify Wrapped

Every year without fail, Spotify Wrapped causes a buzz. This year more than ever was a retrospective glimpse at just how weird this year has been. 

We were left to our own devices with bars and pubs shut, offices closed and socialisation off the cards. Unfortunately, this meant listening to music on our own. At home. In complete solitude. It’s safe to say this made for some pretty chaotic playlists and questionable top songs. Some of which probably shouldn’t be shared. 

Since its campaign debut in 2015, “Wrapped Day” never fails to take social media by storm. Each year it floods our Instagram stories and Twitter feeds to no end.

Regardless of whether you were proud of your Spotify Wrapped or not, there is no denying that it’s digital marketing at its finest. Thank you, Spotify, for yet another humbling experience. 

Starbucks – #whatsyourname

YouTube: Starbucks UK

This year, Starbucks made headlines with its progressive and ground-breaking #whatsyourname campaign. The commercial and digital campaign celebrates the life-changing moment of those who identify as being transgender or non-gender conforming, using their new name in public for the first time. 

Although the campaign focuses on a range of real-life individuals, the #whatsyourname advert portrays ‘James’.

James, who is transitioning, doesn’t identify with his birth name, ‘Jemma’. The advert follows James navigating his way through the day before finally arriving at Starbucks, asking to have his new name on a coffee cup, which the barista then calls out. 

The hashtag #whatsyourname then went viral across Twitter and Instagram, with individuals coming forward and sharing their own personal stories. 

The authenticity of the campaign won Channel 4’s Diversity in Advertising Award. The campaign will hopefully encourage other brands to produce progressive campaigns and promote more positive LGBTQ+ representation in advertising. 

Yorkshire Tea – Social Distancing Teapot

YouTube: Yorkshire Tea

Yorkshire Tea managed to poke fun at the social distancing guidelines with their “Social Distancing Teapot” campaign. The teapot was shared across their social media channels in September. Everyone seemed to love it almost as much as they love a good ol’ brew. 

The Covid-friendly teapot helps to keep a safe distance between colleagues in an office setting. And, although we don’t think the idea will appear on Dragons Den anytime soon, it did make for a light-hearted ad. 

Dove – Project #ShowUs

In 2020, we’ve seen brands change their structure and brand messages to become more progressive and inclusive. Dove is no exception.

Their “Project #ShowUs” digital campaign aims to challenge beauty standards in the media. 

The campaign centred around diversity and inclusivity featuring over 5,000 images on GettyImages.com. The images showed women and non-binary individuals from around the world redefining beauty on their terms. 

Collaborating with GettyImages.com and Girlgaze, the campaign is a part of Dove’s Beauty Pledge. The images featured in this campaign have been encouraged by Dove to be licensed by the media and advertisers for any upcoming projects, to make brands more representative.

It was also great for consumer participation as many people began using the #ShowUs hashtag across social media platforms.

Each year, Dove highlights why representation is necessary, and we’re excited to see what they come up with next year.

Innocent Smoothies – Remember This

Innocent Smoothies never fail to produce original, standout campaigns. From “Conkers Milk” to their “It’s Blue” campaign, they always provide stand out content, with this year being no exception. 

Their most recent digital campaign, launched in August, was a great example of “human” marketing.

The outdoor and online campaign sought to remind people of things they may or may not have missed during the nationwide lockdown. 

The campaign images feature pre-lockdown memories, such as wearing a suit, traffic jams, stepping away from the office to grab a smoothie (naturally), and many other scenarios created with Innocent’s tongue in cheek tone.

Plenty – Xmess

YouTube: Plenty

The final campaign we’ve chosen is from the leading household brand, Plenty. With all the components of a Christmas ad, Plenty’s “Xmess” showed us the realistic side to Christmas that we’ve all experienced but never seen on TV or social media. 

With “Love Hurts” as the soundtrack, we were introduced to a day filled with gravy spills, baby sick and wine stains. Plenty created the campaign and accompanying advert with the premise that “Christmas is a mess, but it’s our mess”.

There were so many other campaigns we loved this year. Although this year definitely didn’t go to plan, we loved seeing the burst of creativity from brands and agencies. Hopefully, we’ll see even more of this in 2021.

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