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21 December 2020 / Opinion

2020: A year in review


So long 2020! It's been an emotional rollercoaster of a year. Many of us are keen to see the back of it, but it's not all been doom and gloom.

This year, the marketing industry has seriously stepped up. We’re giving you a rundown of Jaywing’s favourite campaigns from 2020; those that made us laugh, those that made us cry. Those that gave us much needed hope, or that challenged us to think differently.


PlayStation 5: Underground takeover

Image credit: Sony​

PlayStation staged a unforgettable takeover of five high-traffic London Underground stations with neon gaming icons ahead of the PS5 launch.

“Most people remember PlayStation celebrating the launch of the PS5 by taking over the iconic red circle of the London Underground last month. And that's the point, its memorable. There's something in the simplicity of those crosses, triangles and squares that sticks in your mind. It's a lesson in less-is-more semiotics, created by PR agency Red and MediaCom. Launching in November helped, the darkness by 4.30 pm meant the signs really shone, and fortune favours the bold. A real-life stunt in high footfall areas that also became social currency. Win win." Matt Powell, Creative Director at Jaywing.



Burger King: The Mouldy Whopper

Image credit: Burger King

"Remember February? Care-free lives and not a hint of COVID in sight. Then Twitter came alive with the controversial video of the Burger King Whopper, moulding in all its time-lapse glory. Amassing 8.4 billion organic impressions in just 20 days, (according to their CMO) it was one of the most memorable campaigns of the year.

Whether it made you reminisce your university kitchen or recoil at the departure from #Foodporn that has become the category norm, it was undoubtedly a success in driving both reach and, indirectly, footfall. This campaign, with insight at its core, gave Burger King the chance to show, not just tell the audience that it contains no artificial ingredients, giving the brand a head-turning vantage point and the headlines to match." Amy Naughton, Client Services Director.

"It seems a long time ago since all we worried about what was junk in our junk food, so this was one of my favourite campaigns of this year. Working with simple insight, Burger King’s time-lapse of their rotting Whopper was a marvellous [burger] flipping concept – it takes the hero product shot, usually a pristine and perfect example for the brand, and shows its natural deterioration over time. No narrative needed, just a beautifully simple film with a killer track – sublime!" Maria Vardy, Managing Director.



Bodyform: Womb stories

Image credit: Bodyform #WombStories

In July 2020, Bodyform, along with sister brand Libresse, launched #WombStories, portraying the hidden and untold stories of women’s wombs.

“I really appreciate the honesty and realness that comes through in everything Bodyform do, and Womb Stories did just that. It combined a whole host of topics like IVF, menopause and period cramps, that shouldn’t be taboo, but ultimately are, and created a beautiful looking campaign, that was supported by engaging and truly useful onsite content. The campaign also worked well on social, and even now, almost six months later, new content and #WombStories are being shared.

The campaign itself was also underpinned by striking statistics, making the creative even more impactful, and made it relevant to editorial press too. The full campaign video was emotional and relatable and the combination of ‘real life’ and animation, created something that to me at least, felt new, unique and important." Laura Smith, PR Client Services Director.



Innocent: Remember this?

Image credit: Innocent​

Winning first prize in Ocean Outdoor's Crucial Creative Competition, which launched in May to help galvanise the industry into action as lockdown eased, Innocent Drinks reminded the nation of the way things were before the lockdown, in the brand’s distinctive witty and cheeky way.

"Innocent always manage to read the mood of the nation and this campaign is a perfect example. It seems like a distant memory now, but when we were gearing up to go back to ‘normal’ after the first lockdown ended, this campaign showed us how to laugh at ourselves adjusting as we ventured outdoors.

It was also a great example of how an OOH campaign can have an impact at scale online. Did it even run in the real world? Who cares? It was shared fair and wide in social media and showed the brand’s humour, personality and cultural awareness." Sally Rushton, Director of Strategy.



B&Q: Build a life

Image credit: B&Q and Uncommon Creative Studio

B&Q put an emotional spin on homemaking, with a campaign that features real-life home videos from 69 families across the UK.

"If you’ve ever tried to recruit real customers to be involved in an ad campaign, you’ll probably say it’s never the easiest thing to do. So, to discover the recent B&Q ‘Build a Life’ TV ad features a compilation of 69 home videos from different families around the UK doing up their homes is impressive. What I love most about this campaign though, is the way it taps into an undeniable truth; when you make improvements to your home, it makes you feel better.

Never more so than in 2020 have our homes been more important to us, and this emotionally charged campaign, featuring real-time moments of people making DIY improvements to shape their homes, is a powerful way to connect people with B&Q’s brand purpose and why they exist. Familiarity is very important for advertising effectiveness and efficiency. Not only does this ad concept capture what doing DIY to your home really means for people, the campaign retains the ‘You can do it’ tagline, bridging the latest campaign with previous ones.

Not only is it genuine, authentic and relevant to many, it’s also a great example of storytelling. Beyond the 55 second TV ad to resonate with a very broad audience, B&Q have crafted an entire ecosystem to interact with different segments, from first time buyers through to families.” Phil Stott, Strategy Director.




Image credit: Reuters​

In tribute to the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy on the third anniversary of the disaster, Grenfell United (a group of survivors and bereaved families) put on a striking campaign resulting in thousands of rooms across the country lighting up in green to show their support.

“Every year Grenfell United organise a silent walk to remember those tragically lost in the Grenfell fire. The Silent Walk is a symbolic, moving tribute to those who died and their loved ones who still haven’t found justice. But what happens when you can no longer gather in groups because of COVID restrictions? How do you still show strength, support and unity as a visual reminder? With the country in lockdown, and zero budget, Anomaly created a film bright enough to illuminate any home in green at night.

It played out live on YouTube and everyone was encouraged to switch off their lights and open their curtains. Green homes lit up the London skyline and throughout the UK and within minutes it was trending on Twitter. Instagram was a sea of green. And this brutally simple idea, generated a social media audience of 50 million.” Karl Stones, Executive Creative Director.



Visit Iceland: Let it out!

Image credit: Iceland​

In July 2020, Promote Iceland launched an attention-grabbing campaign that asked people to use their online tool to release their frustrations, by recording their screams into the scenic, wide-open spaces of Iceland.

"As years go, 2020 can rightly be dubbed a stressful one, making Visit Iceland’s campaign a perfect and timely remedy. Amidst a lockdown-induced mental health crisis, Visit Iceland’s scream tool was relevant, and a great way to engage consumers at a time when, due to travel restrictions, using their services was not even an option. What made this campaign even better was the combination of science and expert thinking around the psychological benefits of screaming and the fun of engaging with others by getting to listen to other people’s screams.” Victoria Yusuf, Junior Strategist.



Just Eat: Snoop Dogg raps up the year

Image credit: Just Eat​

Released in May earlier this year, Just Eat’s campaign added the star power of rapper Snoop Dog, who then did a fresh remix of the brand’s jingle.

“The partnership may seem odd. But it’s genius. Snoop Dogg is an instantly recognisable celebrity. The rapper’s global, multi-demographic, market and culture transcending appeal allowed Just Eat to reach a massive new audience, tap into a younger demographic and live up to the ambition of ‘delivering joy’.

With all of us stuck at home, a takeaway has become the highlight of our week. And Just Eat’s partnership with the legendary D.O Double G has transformed our perception of food deliveries during the pandemic, offering up some much-needed light-heartedness and good humour into the mix.

Alongside the TV ad, Just Eat teased the campaign across Snapchat, YouTube, and two platforms that have gained immense popularity throughout the year; TikTok and Twitch. With the original ad achieving 9.8M views on YouTube, the campaign also delivered some pretty social-savvy methods of connecting with a younger audience, using distinctive and unique native content alongside TV activity to build anticipation, extend the conversation and reach new audiences. It’s a triumph, not only in terms of short-term activation, but from a long-term brand building perception too.” Claire Knox, Marketing Director.



Burberry: ‘Singin in the rain’

Image credit: Burberry​

Fashion house Burberry made a splash in November, with a timeless rendition of ‘Singin' in the Rain’, infusing the Gene Kelly classic with the brand’s distinctive urban edginess.

In this new version, a quartet, appropriately attired in Burberry clothing and outerwear, sweep through the streets as rain - or rather, huge chunks of ice - plummet down on them from above. But as they spin and twirl, they deflect and crush the frozen masses, making their way to the ocean, where one of the dancers plunges triumphantly into the water. A cover of Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed’s classic tune, with vocals from Dreya Mac, serves as the soundtrack. The ad is titled with a quote from Tisci: “It’s about that fearless spirit and imagination when pushing boundaries.”

“This is probably my single, favourite TV ad. The exuberance is an antidote to the year. The production is first-class, and a well-placed tune can do a lot of the heavy lifting - I seem to remember Burberry started life as a maker of raincoats.” Pete Camponi, Creative Director.



BBC: The joy of sets

Image credit: BBC​

Back in May, the BBC launched ‘The Joy of Sets’, images specifically for giving your video conferencing calls a ‘makeover’. The sets are split into six categories: Sitcom sets, Entertainment sets, Science Fiction sets, Children TV sets, EastEnder’s sets and Sports sets.

“The BBC ‘The Joy of Sets’ was a collection of 100 photos for you to freely (well, apart from the license fee) use as your Zoom/Teams call background. The images were all of sets from classic shows including Grange Hill, Top of the Pops, Only Fools and Horses, Strictly Come Dancing and Dr Who. With programmes stretching back to the black and white era this must have been challenging to compile, but the net result is a simple ‘help yourself’ user experience with something for every generation. This project won’t save the world, but it passes three criteria of a good idea during these arduous times; it is useful, it is thoughtful, and it builds brand love.” Matt Powell, Creative Director.