It’s safe to say that 2020 has been the year of change. Life as we know it has flipped upside down, from changing the way we interact with others to completely mixing up the way we work.
While this year has had many lows, there’s no denying that it’s also brought some unusual highs. We’ve decided to say ‘no more!’ to the negativity and shine a light on smile-worthy marketing moments from 2020…
First up, let’s rewind to the beginning of the year when Greggs released their famous Vegan Steak Bake. Although not technically a marketing moment born during the pandemic, the work that went into this campaign was too good to not mention.
It’s no secret that Greggs use their social media platforms – particularly Twitter – to promote their products in a tongue and cheek way. And, after the publicity from their Vegan Sausage Roll resulted in a 9.6% increase in sales, it was clear that the next vegan product was going to be a showstopper.
In the lead up to 2020, Greggs began to release a series of short videos, hinting that a new product was on its way. But, instead of sticking to the usual Greggs branding, the marketing team decided to try something completely different.
The nature of these videos immediately sparked feelings of excitement, especially as Greggs were being oh-so-vague. We all knew deep down that Greggs were about to cause a whole lot of controversy… and we couldn’t get enough!
As launch day came around, the final announcement of the Vegan Steak Bake resulted in 189.5k views on Twitter alone. And, in true Greggs nature, every negative comment got a wonderfully retweet-worthy and sarcastic reply. Marketing for millennials at its finest.
Thanks to this year’s events, we’ve seen many brands tailor their marketing campaigns accordingly. One of the first brands to do this, and make their mark, was Guinness.
As soon as it became clear that St. Patrick’s Day was going to be different this year, Guinness decided it was time to lift the mood. With help from a motivational video that portrayed a warming sense of community spirit, Guinness managed to remind the world that we’re all in this together.
As a result, 21% of the public said that they would share the content on social media because it ‘defined the spirit and mood of the time’. This proves just how beneficial it can be to create a sense of community in your marketing campaigns. Reminding your audience that you’re human is key.
Near enough all businesses have struggled this year, in one way or another. As the world had no choice but to stay indoors, our buying habits moved online. With this in mind, what does a brand do when they launch an outdoors marketing campaign, just as the world goes into lockdown? Let’s find out.
Snack brand Emily had plans to launch their first ever outdoors campaign in April… just as the world had to shut down. Instead of giving up, the marketing team used their quick initiative to change the nature of the ads and make fun of their setbacks.
While these ads still wouldn’t have caught the eyes of many passersby, the hilarious message meant that they had a higher chance of being snapped and shared on social media. We all needed an excuse to smile during lockdown; Emily certainly helped!
Another brand that took ‘the new normal’ in their stride was Starbucks. Famous for writing your name on a cup (and not always getting it right!), Starbucks played up to this to remind customers to wear a mask.
This simple, yet highly effective, campaign reminded us that Starbucks employees are going to struggle with the new regulations just as much as we are. Once again, this campaign brought us together in these strange times, with help from an uplifting twist.
This is one that will be sure to pull on your heartstrings. With lockdown forcing us to create our own entertainment, Apple decided to create a marketing campaign full of ‘raw at-home footage’. This footage featured celebrities and members of the public alike; reminding us again that we’re all in this together! The subtle placement of Apple products throughout the whole video reminded viewers that Apple has something for everyone, no matter your background.
The main idea behind this marketing campaign was to shine a light on creativity. Apple even released a bunch of free resources online to assist with this campaign, ensuring no one was left out. Once again, the feelings of togetherness that this campaign created helped to reside with a wider audience.
There you have it – a handful of marketing moments that caught our eye in 2020! We hope these clever campaigns brightened your day as much as they did ours!
Times of change forced marketing departments all of the world to use initiative and emotion; connecting with their audience like never before.
From risky last minute changes to thought-provoking video messages, these campaigns have taught us a lot. The main takeaway? Community is key – also, making people laugh wins your brand brownie-points!
So, what have you learnt from these campaigns and are you going to be implementing these tactics in your 2021 marketing plan?
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