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December 29, 2020

Our Favorite Ads of 2020

Fieldtrip Team

Each consumer connects to a brand differently. 2020 was an unfortunately fascinating case study into how brands connected to consumers during an unprecedented time. Some relied on humor, trying to relate as millions of people worked from home, while others relied on hope and presented a united front to their consumers. 

Here are some of our team’s favorite ads and campaigns from 2020.

Brand: Nike

“This commercial was impressive at the start of the pandemic but it will continue to be relevant and powerful well into the future. Nike captures the emotional power of coming together to become stronger in the face of COVID-19, racial injustice, and our own fears.”
– Jane Pfeiffer, Founder & President

“I get emotional watching this ad. It makes me hope that we are good enough to persevere and come out of this painful year stronger, more connected, and better. The editing of the ad blows me away and I can’t begin to comprehend how hard it was to do. I love that there are so many sports and the creators were able to go through what had to be an unbelievable amount of footage and make everything work seamlessly. In a year when our emotions have been raw, this captures that feeling for me.”
– Lisa Cox, Senior Accountant

Brand: Amazon

“I get misty every time I watch this spot. It feels like this was all of us this year – working towards a goal, thinking the world would be back to what it once was soon, and then end up being crushed when nothing has gone back to “normal”. But, somehow we’re all moving forward and making this new life work and we’re all here supporting each other every step of the way. I’ve bought so many things on Amazon this year trying to achieve some semblance of something cheerful and exciting for my kids.”
– Michelle Buchanan, Account Supervisor

“I love Amazon’s ad “The show must go on” as it captures the feelings many of us have felt this year. The main character is devastated when her big ballet performance gets canceled due to COVID, but through the power of creativity and community, her sister helps put on a show that no one will forget. This ad really pulls on your heartstrings as we can all relate to the main character and are so happy for her when she finally gets to perform.”
– Amy Chea, Senior Art Director

Brand: Oreo

“This ad has a strong sense of storytelling and I love how it showcases multiple moments between a daughter and her dad. I want to cry every single time I watch it as it just pulls on my heartstrings. This ad was unexpected from Oreo, but they found a way to place the product in a noninvasive way.”
– Monica Bischoff, Account Executive

Brand:  Nike

“Growing up Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers was the first athlete I ever idolized, and his death in February of 2020 hurt unlike any celebrity’s prior. The Nike ‘Better” campaign served as a memorial to one of the best sports stars of all time, using his “Mamba Mentality” inspirational message to transcend beyond the game of basketball. The ad brought so much emotion including sadness & grief, joy, and even inspiration & motivation to be better in life. 2020 has been tough for many reasons, but Nike’s ad celebrating Kobe Bryant reminded me to live life with passion and pursue the things that I desire with fervor. Rest in Peace, Kobe.”
– Jacob Lane, Digital Media Specialist

Brand: Apple

“A sequel to their 2019 ad “The Underdogs,” I thought this ad was the most accurate and relatable depiction of life for an (former) office worker during COVID-19. While many brands captured the sentiment of 2020 with sappy or melodramatic spots, Apple nailed it, but gave us a dose of what we all needed this year: humor. “
– Andrew Spalding, Creative Director

“I appreciated the humor that was interjected into a very stressful situation. While Apple products were able to solve a lot of the issues the team hits when working on their project from home, they kept it realistic. Even with the integrated tech, they still faced the same obstacles we all are – talking over each other on video chats, kids running around the house, and unknowingly muting yourself while speaking. This made the ad not only funny but relatable.
– Melody Partain, Creative Strategy Manager

Brand: Public Goods

“I missed most of 2020 in Japan so this is way more recent. But the concept for the spot leans into the fact that there are regulations against mentioning hand sanitizer, their product, and COVID-19 and they cleverly build an idea around it. It’s funny, engaging, and calls out pricing gouging of essential goods.
– Kento Kobayashi, Account Executive

Brand: Barbie

 “Well, I love this ad as it is such a great message — inspiring young girls and encouraging them to imagine they can be anything!”
– Marci Levine, Media Director

Brand: Twitch

“twitch is an absurd platform for anyone looking in from the outside. The odd aspects of ‘chat emotes’, subscriber bonuses, and straight-up memes would confuse anyone who was new to the platform. So what do they do? They embrace it and transform their messaging and branding to be based around what people know and love about twitch. It’s weird, wacky, and most importantly, utilizes its user-created content to position the brand, which is exactly how they got their claim to fame.”
– Fraser Ward, Art Director

Brand: Doritos

“The point of advertising is to create a brand and loyalty so iconic that your consumers can recognize your product without a logo. This ad exemplifies advertising at its best, having consumers crave Doritos without even saying the name. The use of the iconic triangle and brand colors through the ad is incredibly well developed and interesting to watch.”
– Camille Coltrain, Digital Media Supervisor

Brand: John Lewis

“This is my favorite ad from 2020 because I am a sucker for all of the John Lewis Christmas ads. This one resonated with me because 2020 has been such a hard year for everyone and we all had to learn to be a little more selfless and help others. All the acts of kindness in the ad are so small, but go so far. The way it comes full circle at the end is the cherry on top.”
– Annie Pape, Account Coordinator

Brand: Google 

“I feel 2020 wasn’t particularly strong in the ad world. Maybe Covid has given me some perspective on what matters in life? However, before Covid I remember being moved by this ad from Google. Technology is fine balance and will always probably be. I know Google and the other large tech companies have some large scale privacy and accountability issues to work through. HOWEVER, this ad shares a brighter side of technology. The simple act of helping this old man retain the memories of his wife hit me deep.”
– Carl Michel, Creative Technology Director

Brand: Bouygues

Bouygues Christmas commercial of 2018 illustrates the fun and nostalgia that Christmas is about Family and the Joy of the season. Christmas gets buried in millions of things to check off the list. This spot shows the Joy of the Christmas spirit in a sweet way that most people can identify with. Generation after generation, time after time it is the small traditions that spark the JOY of the season. It is memorable, light-hearted, and sweet the way the holiday should be.
– Michelle Merimee, Media Supervisor