This article is based on the extensive research work conducted by Nico Digital bearing references to the contributions of Creativity editors of Ad Age. Let’s look at the insights of these 10 brands moves that took place in the year 2021.
1. L’Oréal: Because self-care is self-worth
Agency: McCann Paris
The global Pandemic forced all commercial platforms to come to a halt and remained closed. Loreal came up with a fantastic idea that involved actress Eva Longoria capturing or cam cord herself dying her hair at home in Los Angeles. The Hollywood actress made footage of herself using two smartphones. The agency McCann Paris provided instructions remotely through Microsoft teams. The spot brought unexpected authenticity to a category rife with polished scenes of celebrities looking their best (even when they’re home and busy with their household routine like washing their faces or applying makeup), and grabbed the immediate attention of millions of viewers who also resort to regular hairstyles at home. This year, the agency and brand delivered several powerful messages, including one featuring a riveting monologue from Viola Davis, but this one stood out for its fresh perspective on a category that had become old with its perfectionist norms.
2. The New York Magazine’s campaign: I voted Covers
The year 2021 made viewers and audiences see quite some initiatives from companies and brands innovative ways to extract votes. However, the world enjoyed the series of covers from New York Magazine, which amalgamated the talents of various artists that included that of Sheard Fairey, Barbara Kruger, Laurie Simmons, KAWS, and a few more to reconsider the “I Voted” badge/sticker. Around 12 stickers from various creative’s were put up on 4 different covers. These allowed voters to recourse themselves to something unique to furnish them every day. The effort, which was developed in collaboration with the social engaging group I Am a Voter, is one of the best examples of innovation for a good cause this year.
3. Animal Crossing Island by Hellmann’s
by Ogilvy Toronto (agency)
The pandemic had forced physical gatherings to be canceled this year. Therefore, most of the forms of gatherings were conducted through online portals, occasions and even playing games. Nintendo’s Animal Crossing has become a popular place to be. As a result of which these renowned brands had begun to participate within their facilities. However, during the epidemic, Unilever’s Hellmann’s exploited its presence to alleviate the real-world challenge of food shortages. Ogilvy Toronto’s campaign allowed gamers to send off virtual false signals that they couldn’t sell at Hellmann’s island and have them converted into a genuine food donation campaign Second Harvest Food Rescue. It served as a stark reminder that, although the pandemic has left millions of people who are restless staying at homes, millions more are unable to afford meals and basic amenities.
4. Somebody’s Baby by Babynames.com
Babynames.com is a brand that is not popular when it comes to making big investments in advertising, but it certainly did draw the world’s attention as it turned its homepage into a declaration of Black Lives Matter support. The website became popular ever since it published the list of hundreds of names of Black Americans who died as a result of police governance or at the hands of civilians, along with the phrase “Each of these names was somebody’s baby.” It was a memorable and impactful Black Lives Matter statement to emerge from corporate America in the aftermath of George Floyd’s homicide.
5. Womb Stories by Libresse
Agency: AMV BBDO
Libresse’s Womb Stories depicts the inside topography of Female bodies, recording the feminine experience by seeing what is happening within the uterus, much as Pixar’s “Inside Out’ ‘ did with human emotions. The project was directed by “Girls’ ‘ director Nisha Ganatra for AMV BBDO and is a suitable following to the companies award winning titles: “blood normal” and “Viva La Vulva”.
6. We’re never lost if we can find each other
Droga5’s powerful film for Facebook was a perfect example of a pandemic commercial. It debuted at the end of March, just as we were all still reeling from the first wave of COVID-19, and featured both consumer and photojournalistic clips of a world ravaged by the virus. It summed up some of the sights which would quickly become familiar phrases, such as health care workers and empty shelves. Nonetheless, the idea to put it all to a rousing spoken word track by British poet Kate Tempest allowed it to stand out in a sea of emotional mediocrity.
7. Joe Biden’s Presidential campaign: Silence him
The set of advertisements featuring a talking polling box and a friendly No. 2 pencil, Joe Biden’s presidential campaign found the sweet spot. The animated advertisements, which were broadcasted a few days before the election, were simple yet effective in conveying their message: come out and vote if you want to silence the president. This struck out a mass of political advertising packed with testimonies and archive material for their compelling simplicity.
8. NBA/Michelob Ultra/Microsoft: Courtside
Agency: FCB and Microsoft’s Technology
Ever since the pandemic, sports leagues and marketers devised a slew of novel methods to bring home the in-game experience to the fans and even smart strategies to get people to the match. For the “Orlando Bubble” part of the NBA season, the league collaborated with Michelob Ultra and Microsoft to provide the virtual experience for the fans. using Microsoft Teams’ “Together Mode” and 17-foot displays that encircledplayers in the basketball court—exactly like genuine stadium seats. However, the experience became a little awkward (fans got to experience something exciting displaying their emotions), The notion was ambitious that, if this kind of games were to restart, maybe a method to increase participation.
9. Subway Map Redesign by New York MTA
Agency: Work & Co
Work & CO. reimagined the New York MTAs subway map for the modern era developing an interface that was a combination of the simplicity of Massimo Vignelli’s concept of 1972 with the system that was rich in information developed by Michael Hertz. This was an efficient solution that designers couldn’t develop for decades. The firm also enlisted the services of director Gary Hustwit, who is known for his celebrated design-focused movies such as “Helvetica” and “Objectified,” to record the process.
10. Lego: Rebuild the World 2020
Lego appeared to have another moment in 2020. In 2020, the company resumed its “Rebuild the World” promotion, a concept that felt especially fitting amid all the challenges and turmoil filled in a year. challenges. When the ad of the brand debuted during the American election’s first week, it felt coincidentally timed. It’s the climax of a fantastically innovative annual period for the corporation, which included the launch of a new social platform, “Let’s Build Together,” which was supposed to motivate families during the lockdown period to create new logo architecture to better the world during the epidemic. There are a few concepts like “Dream Hospital Treehouse” and a sustainable farm, which were finally displayed at Lego’s Denmark headquarters.
The volatility of 2020/21 may have depressed our spirits at times, but looking back on the last year, it’s evident that innovative ideas only bloomed amid all the strife and constraints that upended our lives. These were a few of the year’s most powerful, engaging, and masterfully performed brand movements.
Aditya is the Founder and CEO of Nico Digital and Digital Polo. He has attained the pinnacle of brand design expertise by delivering true value to brands and marketers. After pursuing his higher education in Business Analysis from Manchester Business School, he has helped both Nico Digital and Digital Polo unlock its true branding potential globally. You can reach out to him on LinkedIn and Twitter.