Best marketing campaigns of 2020

December 22nd, 2020 | Laura Ziemer

The Omni Insights team analyzed the most memorable marketing strategies of 2020, spanning efforts from financial services, telecoms, travel, and even online dating. Check out some of their top picks below, including analysis on what makes them so memorable. Comperemedia clients can log in now to view the full ‘best campaigns of 2020’ list.

2020 leaves its mark

In early 2020, we saw brands moving towards integrated and cross-device campaigns like never before. When brands flipped quickly into crisis management mode, they reverted to their 1-2 channels of comfort. 2021 will likely balance integrated strategy and quickly refreshed creative to ensure they meet consumers where they are.

At a time when the country was facing extreme challenges, “helping others” became a popular theme across industries. Whether it was providing extended free trials or amplifying small businesses, brands rose to the occasion to show that we are all in this together.

Later in 2020, humor about the chaos of the year bubbled up to the surface in a handful of marketing campaigns. The best examples of this managed to pull in the new “normal” many of us are facing—from Zoom calls to toilet paper shortages.

Integrated omnichannel campaign

For its Super Bowl spot, Rocket Mortgage featured a very comfortable Jason Momoa.

Source: Rocket Mortgage

Rocket Mortgage anticipated what consumers would likely search for after viewing the spot. The investment in its celebrity endorser led to a 90% M/M surge in paid search traffic.

Rocket Mortgage’s Top Jason Momoa Keywords:

  • Jason Momoa
  • Jason Momoa Game of Thrones
  • Who is Jason Momoa married to?
  • Where is Jason Momoa from?
  • Jason Momoa workout
  • Who does Jason Momoa play on Game of Thrones?
  • Jason Momoa Comic Con

Rocket Mortgage continued to remind consumers of the humorous ad well after the Super Bowl via a display campaign running through mid-April.

Comperemedia Omni [02/01/20 – 04/30/20] as of 12/08/20

COVID-19 response campaign

Early in the lockdown, Sling hosted a week-long nightly “happy hour” of free TV. To bring some joy to those bored and stuck at home, Sling made its Blue service free every night from 5 pm to midnight for a week. No credit card was required, so the move came off as an act of benevolence, rather than a sales tactic—though it of course it might have had the side effect of getting viewers hooked.

And for former subscribers, it could have been just the trick to win them back, especially since they got free TV all day long for that week.

Display April-May 2020
Email 4/18/20

Social responsibility campaign 

Discover encouraged cardholders to #EatItForward to support their favorite Black-owned restaurants. Discover committed $5 million to provide assistance to Black-owned restaurants in the U.S. in the form of $25,000 grants for establishments nominated by customers.

Paid Facebook July 2020

Effective use of humor during an unhumorous year campaign 

Progressive’s Zoom Call campaign series was painfully accurate. The ad campaign highlighted the trials and tribulations of working virtually in 2020, and its humorous empathy helped the brand stand out on streaming services like Hulu.

What we hope to see in 2021

The unusual events of 2020 forced brands to pull back and reflect upon what’s most important, and many of them landed on “people.” Whether it was their customers, employees, or those struggling in the community—the overwhelming priority was humanity. By empathizing and showing support for those impacted, brands created a deeper connection with their customers. This earnest approach can be extremely effective when used appropriately.

When things are feeling a little stale and the brand “voice” is becoming a bit too buttoned-up and predictable—it might be time to break the fourth wall and remind yourself and your customers what’s most important.

Thanks to the entire Comperemedia Omni Insights Team for their top picks and analysis: Emily Groch, B.J. Pichman, Jeannette Ornelas, Rachel Arndt, Lierin Ehmke, Nick Batt, Maegan Haugh, and Lizzie Egan.

Laura Ziemer

Laura Ziemer

Laura Ziemer is Mintel's Associate Vice President of Marketing Intelligence. Laura uses Mintel's marketing intelligence data to explore custom questions for clients, and provide concrete recommendations that steer them toward highly incremental growth.