Pandemic Marketing Efforts – What Campaigns Do You Remember From 2020?

This year has been a strange one to say the least. We all set off in our stride, to live 2020 with fun-filled times and adventures. Little did we know, within a matter of weeks, a pandemic would swarm the globe, and put the lives of almost every civilisation on hold. Practically all travel came to a halt, all non essential stores closed and most businesses ‘shut up shop’. During this time we saw a large number of marketing campaigns which were seemingly created to spread a little hope, as well as to convey the importance of the ‘stay at home’ message.

For a blast from the past, you can see which our chosen campaigns were for 2018. Alternatively, here is a selection of our most memorable marketing campaigns of 2020 and why:

Burger King

Back in 2019 Burger King had the bright idea of the ‘Stevenage Challenge’. This campaign illustrates the power of creative marketing and digital artistry. Take a look at this video for how:

This creativity continues today, when we saw the announcement that Burger King is now also a proud sponsor to the Stevenage Women’s team. This saw a redesign of the brand logo for the burger giant to ‘Burger Queen’. This sends powerful messages of equality to the viewer. Something which many people of the nation are passionate about.

This was not all we saw from our flamin’ good favourite this year. In November, just before the UK’s second Coronavirus lockdown, Burger King took to ethical marketing and urged its customers to buy from their rivals while they are shut, in order to support the industry and the thousands of team members within them.

BK followed suit on this charitable messaging, with a marketing campaign which dedicated their social channels to independent hospitality venues which are closed due to Covid-19. This was accompanied by a promise that during this period BK would not be posting their own material.

We are particularly fond of Burger King’s marketing efforts this year because they all convey the brands care and appreciation. This is something which can be very difficult to comminicate in a truly genuine manner. We feel all of their efforts come across as genuine, with no obvious ulterior motives.

Just Eat

The pandemic brought a number of challenges to practically every household in the country. One of which was a safe and ‘COVID’ secure way of getting food outlets operational. Just Eat presented us all with this amazing ad, which identifies the ease and variety of ordering food for delivery on their platform.

We like how the Just Eat brand has signed an iconic rapper to portray their message. This ad was hugely popular and certainly appeals to a wide array of their target audience. Not to mention the fact that the tune and slogan “Did somebody say Just Eat”, sticks in all of our minds, especially at lunchtime.


We are all guilty of a chicken fix from time to time. The challenges of 2020 meant that a large number of the Colonel’s outlets were closed. This saw many attempts from the nations chicken lovers to replicate their treasured spicy fried chicken recipes. KFC celebrates this in a humorous way, while making the much anticipated announcement of their re-opening.

This was a particularly successful campaign because it acknowledges the brands appreciation for their consumer’s efforts. Needless to say, there is still nothing that comes close to that unique KFC flavour.



I’m sure we will all admit that this year has been traumatic, in some way or another, for all of us. Not to mention for Layla-Rae, who had a total meltdown when she discovered that her favorite restaurant would be shut as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Layla-Rae’s Mum chose to film this. Almost immediately after posting online, it went viral, being seen by millions of people across the globe. This includes Deliveroo, who saw a great PR opportunity in this and sent Layla-Rae a special food parcel in order to tame the girl’s distress.

The food delivery provider then followed up with a ‘celebratory’ message screened to the nation, once stores were back open. We particularly like these campaigns as they portray a ‘genuine concern’ from the brand for the nations wellbeing.

HM Government

Now for something a little less humorous. Sorry, we had to get this one in.

This advert is the one which sends tremors and palpitations through the bodies of almost every resident in the UK. A regular feature for 2020, we saw a number of adaptations to this advert from Professor Chris Whitty, UK’s Chief Medical Officer.

In this advert ‘Whitty’ stresses the importance of staying at home to protect the nation. The tone and setting within the video is perfect because it sets the scene while addressing the severity of the situation.


Not one for the faint hearted, but certainly one that sticks in our minds (no pun intended). The BBC outdoor billboard which advertises the Dracula series does so in a creative and graphic way. This is eye catching and definitely did the trick in getting people to spread the word on this new drama series.


With the closure of hospitality venues in the UK, as a result of the Coronavirus, there was a surge in alcohol sales for supermarkets. Sadly, not for Corona. On the back of this, Budweiser saw an opportunity to relaunch the infamous ‘Whassup’ messaging. This was particularly good because it encourages us to keep in touch, but in a humorous way.

Yorkshire Tea

The humour of the situation did not stop there. As businesses began to re-open and teams returned to work, Yorkshire Tea launched this campaign to promote the ‘safe tea round’. We like the messaging in this because it shows how, despite our kind hearted nature, we need to be putting the health and safety of our peers first.


A similar message came from Natwest in this advert. As the pandemic hit, the country saw an immediate threat to their cash flows. As a result of this there was a huge amount of effort from the banks in assisting with this ‘temporary issue’. Natwest made this hilarious and ‘sassy’ advert to share the message about how they are actively teaching youngsters to look after their money too. We all love this one because it gives us all a feeling of nostalgia. Come on, we’ve all tried to get away with this one when we were kids.


Along with care for money, we all care for the environment too. Nowadays, we’re all becoming increasingly conscious of our carbon footprints. In light of this, we saw this advert from Ecover, which promotes the brands dedication to protecting the environment. The issue we have with this is that it doesn’t illustrate much creativity from the brand. We find this advert more disturbing to watch, for obvious reasons.


There was a huge benefit to the environment from lockdown. More people at home meant considerably less people on the roads, therefore less toxic emissions in the air. Even though we were all in lockdown, we were lucky to have had some fantastic weather this year. Although it is a shame we were unable to enjoy it at the beach or on a hill in the Cotswolds. The AA sent this heartwarming and hilarious animation to the nation. We like this because not only is it immensely creative, the advert sends the message that even though we are all stuck at home, the AA will always do their best to get us back on the road.

From serious to hilarious. We have seen a wide array of advertising this year. Our favourite brands have made use of every marketing and digital platform possible, from social media to TV, through animation and graphics. These have all sent powerful messages to the country, while ensuring that the brand remains in the eyes of their customers through unique marketing. Let’s hope messages within the ads is different for 2021. Take a look at our post which explores the power of animated video vs live video for marketing.

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