I’m not one to dwell on the past. But the prospect of getting back to some live, in-person creative production in 2021 has our team looking for inspiration. We can’t wait for the video and photo shoots we have planned this spring—but until then, here’s a look back at some of our favorite 2020 campaigns:
Progressive’s Dr. Rick
These ads have been so omnipresent, it’s hard to believe that the campaign launched just this past year. Any other campaign run at this frequency might have driven us crazy. But this one is good. Like, really good. Creative-team’s-envious-they-didn’t-come-up-with-it good. The casting and scripts are on point. They perfectly capture and exploit the mindset of the target audience—older Millennials keenly aware that their accelerating spiral into adulthood has (yikes!) turned them into their parents.
Match.com’s Satan meets 2020
You know it’s been a strange year when Ryan Reynolds has been at the helm of some of the best ads on TV—including the Match.com spot depicting the match made in H-E-double hockey sticks: Satan and 2020. It’s funny, spot-on and perfectly tied back to a brand whose customers likely hit pause on their own dating lives last year (the spot ends with “Make 2020 2021 your year”). And the Taylor Swift soundtrack? (Chef’s kiss).
Beats By Dre’s You Love Me
COVID was just one of the challenges we collectively faced in 2020. The murder of George Floyd brought to light long-simmering problems around race relations and police brutality. Beats By Dre used its platform to highlight the hypocrisy of a society that loves black culture but not black people.
Coors Light’s The Iceman
I despise commercials from big beer companies (with the exception of the iconic “Most Interesting Man in The World” campaign), and I’ve found a lot to roll my eyes at this year. But one company actually got it right—Coors—with its “Iceman” commercial. It shines light on its mission to get Tom Flores—the first Latino quarterback and head coach ever—inducted into the Football Hall of Fame. Is it the best of the best? No. The best of the beer? We think so.
Amazon’s Life Before Alexa
The worst thing about this Super Bowl standout is the Ellen DeGeneres cameo. But it gets much better from there—with funny portrayals of how dire things were before the ubiquitous virtual assistant. The nuanced political commentary—fake news, criminal politicians, rampant misinformation—really takes it over the top (in a good way).
What campaigns stood out for you in 2020?