2020 has not been the year creatives imagined it would be when the clocks struck midnight on New Year’s Eve. With no Cannes Lions to attend and the coronavirus outbreak halting production, creativity has flourished closer to home.
Since lockdown began back in March, advertising has been dominated by generic commercials styled like video calls and formulaic montages making use of archive footage.
But the limitations have also brought out the best in our industry, which found new ways of creating campaigns while working from home. Celebrity adman Ryan Reynolds even managed to turn a PowerPoint presentation into a commercial.
So as the world starts to look forward again, here are the 10 most popular ads from The Drum’s Creative Works during lockdown.
Pornhub: Cleanest Porn Ever by Officer & Gentleman
To encourage its users to practice safe sex, while abiding by proper safety precautions during the Covid-19 pandemic, Pornhub introduced ‘The Cleanest Porn Ever.’ Aimed at the over 150 million daily Pornhub users, the spot offers guidance on what precautions to take while having sex through a series of instructional videos.
Ikea: I Stay Home by McCann
The home has always been a refuge, and during lockdown, it played a major role in helping people protect themselves and others. That’s why Ikea Spain decided to pay tribute to all ‘homes,’ celebrating them as a space that welcomes us when we wake up in the morning until we say goodnight in the evening. Created by McCann Spain, the film encourages people to see their homes from a new perspective.
Facebook: We’re Never Lost If We Can Find Each Other by Droga5
Demonstrating how light can come through cracks, Facebook brought out ‘We’re Never Lost If We Can Find Each Other’ in celebration of the ways people are staying connected during the coronavirus outbreak. Against the backdrop of personal footage obtained from real people during this time, the British poet Kate Tempest recites her poem ‘People’s Faces’ defiantly.
BBDO: Your Home
To help its staff cope better when working from home, ad agency BBDO designed an initiative whereby its employees could ‘launch their own BBDO office.’ To do so, it set up a microsite where staff members could simply type in their address, to generate an official BBDO personalised home address logo that could be added to email signatures.
Audi: The Drive by We Are Social
When Australia went into lockdown, Audi found a way for housebound car lovers to experience the freedom of the open road – without leaving their homes. ‘The Drive’ is 4 hours long, taking viewers on an immersive road journey cruising across Australia’s jaw-dropping landscapes in the all-new Audi A6 Sedan.
Mint Mobile: New ManageMint by Maximum Effort Productions
With coronavirus halting production, Reynolds starts the ad by explaining that Mint Mobile was in the middle of making an ‘epic’ ad, but it had now stumped for just a PowerPoint. The ad then humorously continues onto a parody of PowerPoints, complete with cheesy stick imagery and, at one point, a puppy.
Apple: Creativity Goes On by TBWA Media Arts Lab
A montage of people in lockdown, ‘Creativity Goes On’ seamlessly captured how Apple’s products and software can help users who want to stay creative while working from home. Interspersed with famous faces, including Oprah Winfrey and John Krasinski, the spot shows people producing video content on Macbooks, using FaceTime to share creative ideas or drawing pictures on iPads.
Vodafone: Even When We Can’t Be Close, We Can Be Together
Promoting the importance of connectivity, while raising money for The Red Cross, Vodafone Italy unveiled a heartwarming ad filmed entirely from lockdown. Under the strapline – ‘even when we can’t be close, we can be together ‘ – the ad flicked through the various ways its customers have learned together, relaxed together, rocked together, and cooked together.
Women’s Aid: The Lockdown by Engine
While the nation followed the government’s direction to stay safe indoors, Women’s Aid revealed ‘The Lockdown’ a chilling campaign that pointed out that victims of domestic abuse were not ‘safe’ via those instructions. Abiding by the current government guidelines, a number of collaborators used their daily exercise excursion to capture footage of London, at its most empty to illustrate that abusers always ‘work from home.’
Ford: Built to Lend a Hand, Built for Right Now by Wieden+Kennedy New York
‘Built to Lend a Hand’ uses old footage of the Ford company as it says that it’s been building the country for over 100 years, how it built tanks and planes for the war efforts, and last year, through fires, hurricanes, and tornadoes, Ford helped with payment relief to over 150,000 customers.