Reflecting on Resilience through a Turbulent Year
Written by: Sahil Dhaliwal
And just like that, quite the historic year is coming to an end. 2020 may always be remembered for its global Covid-19 pandemic and the devastation that followed, but the good news always shined through. Even amidst unprecedented hardship, humanity (& our environment!) persevered through collaboration, creativity, empathy, self-discovery and resilience. If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that even the smallest acts create an impact. And like us, leading marketing teams have noticed, reflecting humanities triumph, no matter how small, in some of our favorite marketing campaigns of 2020.
Coors Lite | #CouldUseABeer
When a viral photo of a quarantining 93-year-old, Olive Veronesi, with an “I need Beer!” sign in her window took the internet by storm, Coors Lite seized the perfect opportunity to raise brand awareness and help a fan out by sending her 10 packs of beer. Their impact didn’t stop there; in fact, Coors Lite felt inspired to create their #CouldUseABeer campaign to boost morale amongst its audience, offering free beers to users who nominated someone (or themselves) alongside the hashtag, up to its 500,000 limit.
Coors Lite fully embraced the global pandemic for the “sucky” situation it is and leaned into the levity of a rather dark situation to give its consumers something to look forward to. This campaign was a great example of empathizing with and connecting to a brand’s target audience and furthering their own brand awareness.
Nike | “Victory Swim”
In October, Nike premiered their “Victory Swim” commercial, portraying a hijabi woman in the ocean, teaching her daughter how to swim. Her encouraging words reverberate as a mantra throughout the spot, as other female athletes take center screen. The spot features Middle Eastern athletes like UAE national rower Maha Al Ameri, amputee swimmer Zainab Al-Eqabi, and triathlete Manal Rostrom. The viewer is taken on an aspirational journey about resilience, strength and will – ending with the mother saying “you’re doing it”, an homage to Nike’s famous slogan.
Nike is known for its captivating storytelling and the triumphant narratives embedded into its cinematic style spots. Respectfully highlighting hijabi and middle eastern female athletes only served to strengthen the message of resilience and heart. We’d say marketers should look to Nike, but we all already do – this spot was just an excellent reminder that storytelling, when done extremely well, creates a lasting impression of brand identity in the viewers’ minds.
Apple | Creativity Goes On
When the pandemic first started, brands had to get creative while creating ads from home, and Apple managed to capture the essence of how folks had strived to stay connected and collaborative with its triumphant “Creativity Goes On” spot. The spot showcased everyone, even celebrities like Oprah and John Krasinski, working from home and pursuing their creative side despite such strange times. The realism and subtle nod at their products really grounded the spot to make it relatable and empathetic.
Unlike the Nike ad before, the story here was a bit more subtle in its aspirationalism, but it’s narrative storytelling was just as emotionally evocative. From a marketing perspective, it’s worth noting that we may not realize just how far of a reach our products have when it comes to brand awareness and relating to current circumstances. We’re globally connected through a plethora of devices and yet Apple was able to capture and embed the emotional reality between such simple scenes of using everyday technology. But then again, that’s what makes them Apple.
Etsy | Gift Like You Mean It
Etsy recently launched its “Gift Like You Mean It” campaign, in which it celebrates intentional and meaningful gift-giving with a personal touch. Through various vignettes, the brand tugged at our sentimental heartstrings to revive the spirit of joy and cheer this holiday season through customized, handcrafted gifts.
Considering that buyers are much more likely to purchase meaningful gifts over superficial ones this year, Etsy did well to include a 30s spot touching on this year’s pandemic-era holiday. Overall, Etsy’s campaign highlighted what the holiday spirit is all about: cherishing our loved ones. It’s a reminder we’ll never get tired of, and a lesson in grounded, emotional storytelling that makes a marketing campaign feel less like selling a product and more like celebrating each other.