There is no denying that 2020 changed the way that brands interact with the world. This shift created a unique landscape for marketing and advertising, especially around the holiday period. With less money at their disposal and more sensitive topics to avoid, brands had to deliver a unique and sensitive message in a creative way that stood out from their competitors. This caused a significant shift in tone that we’ve seen in previous years. Many major brands decided to move away from a traditional commercial campaign to instead focus on telling a story, creating a link between them and the customer. This whole year has proven that successful brands are those that can pivot, which has only be reiterated this holiday period. Although many brands rose to this challenge, there were a few that definitely stood out.
Due to the sensitive subject matter, most brands decided to steer clear of mentioning the global pandemic and the effects that it has had on our lives. Myer, on the other hand, decided to address this issue head-on. Their bigger than Christmas campaign focused on bringing a bit of joy back into the year. No mention of any sales, or any products sold in Myer stores. considering everyone missed countless celebrations this year, they urged us to come together and make the most of Christmas.
Australians have a longstanding history of mate-ship and community. In a year full of separation and isolation, Australia Post decided to focus on these qualities Australians hold so close. It was undoubtedly a difficult year for Aus Post. However, this campaign was able to tactically position their brand as a conduit between the consumer and the positive qualities of the festive season, all while emphasising the personal service they provide.
Probably one of the more commercial adds this holiday season, Aldi was one brand that actively displayed the products they sell. Although, it wasn’t the main focus of the campaign. Concentrated on bringing a light-hearted tone back to the festive period, Aldis synchronised Santas demonstrated that although Aldi doesn’t take themselves too seriously, you can get all your Christmas essentials at one of their stores. By not focusing on their products, Aldi developed a creative way to advertise to their audience, while still remaining sensitive to the current marketing climate.
Every year one brand puts the star on top of the tree for the most earnest and heartfelt campaigns. This year it goes to Doc Morris, a relatively unknown Dutch pharmaceutical company. Much like many brands, they decided to completely ignore the pandemic and focus on qualities of family and togetherness. In this time where families can rarely come together, Doc Morris inspires us to make the most of the time we have with each other.
Advertising this year was a challenging task, however, most brands were able to effectively convey their message while staying conscious of the various sensitive subjects this year has presented us. The bar has been set and it will be interesting to see how brands progress in 2021.