2020, The Year and PR Campaigns That Inspired Us to Be Our Best & Focus on What Counts

5th Jan 2021
Entre Les Lignes

There’s no denying that 2020 has been one helluva rollercoaster. And if we’re honest, most of us have begged to be let off more than a few times. The whole world has been in the same boat, threatening to capsize and dunk us under the roar and rush of the COVID-19 pandemic waves.

Pretty bleak, right?

Duh! But thankfully, when it comes to 2020, that’s not all she wrote. This year has been punctuated by moments that have helped us learn to see what really counts. Connection, home, family, friends, laughter, our health, and our planet – they’re all notions this year has taught us to cherish.

And in the midst of it all, there have been a handful of global PR campaigns that drove that message home. They made us laugh, tugged at our heartstrings, or inspired us to listen to the better angels of our nature. 2021 has just begun, so what better way to welcome it than to recap our favorite global PR campaigns of 2020?

Ready, set… GO!

Want to make sure your global PR campaign pops the right way in every language? As a creative translation agency, that’s kind of our thing. Get in touch with us today!

Make ‘em laugh

When you’re in a bind, nothing does the soul better than a good laugh. It’s true! Just ask the folks over at Forbes, where they give you a scientific rundown of all the ways laughter is good for you. And this has been a year where we could use all the giggles we can get, right?

We may be boutique here at Entre Les Lignes, but we also love marketing that tickles our funny bone and gets our positivity flowing. We’d also never want to miss out on a creative quip that generates brand loyalty either. And that’s why you’re about to hop onto a bus that will take you from sly grin to cute and quirky to downright hilarious.

Crafty FTW

First up? Louis Vuitton’s Pre-fall 2020 campaign. If you haven’t clicked the link yet and you’re expecting the standard dose of autumn chic, think again! This year, Louis Vuitton proved that some of the rabbits in its hat aren’t just chic and sleek. They’re also geeky 🤓

French fashion designer, Nicolas Ghesquière, took 2020’s surreal feel and gave us 24 looks straight from the pages of pulp fiction. You’ve heard about what to do when “life gives you lemons”. Well, Ghesquière shows us that when life gives you a pandemic, you should get out your best camp, add killer design, 80s-inspired cliff-hangers, and mix!

© https://www.instagram.com/louisvuitton/

We see what you did there Louis Vuitton and yes, we’re impressed. This campaign takes crafty to new heights and we’ve got a grin on our faces just imagining the fun ambassadors like Angelica Ross, Jaden Smith, Deepika Padukone, Doona Bae, and more must have had posing for the covers of these fictional tales.

Vuitton just introduced us to a “wearable library” and being the literary souls, we are – we are diggin’ it!

Who says the WHO doesn’t have a sense of humor?

Public safety announcements are important, but often a drag. That is, until we saw how Hollywood studios’, Illumination, team up with the WHO. Despicable Me’s Gru clues us in on how to social distance (with a garden hose!), encourages us to experiment with cooking (gummy bears and meat!?), and reminds us that “we’re all in this together”.

WHO teams up with Minions and Gru to show how people can stay safe from COVID-19

The clip ends with – Stay Safe. Be Kind. – two concepts that translate well into any language. And the cute and silliness of the WHO’s message here did nothing to undercut their core message. That’s the kind of creative branding in a crisis that we hope to see more of (after the next normal has come and gone…).

This little light of mine – we know how to make it shine

Aside from making us giggle and grin, 2020 also brought us plenty of international PR to remind us of what and who (you of course!) really counts. Best-known brands went out of their way to focus on the things in life that make it worth living, to spark hope, evoke nostalgia, and above all, to remind us of what matters.

Home is so much more than a house

Hygge may not be a Swedish word, but Ikea’s 2020 PR campaigns (yes, more than one!), are solid evidence that it’s a fundamental facet of their brand. Better yet, they get that it’s precisely what we need in upside-down times like these. Their #stayathome campaign crafted with McCann Spain and make-home-count, dreamt up with TBWA\Singapore made us feel all the feels.

What made them work? They relied on the perfect synthesis of verbal and visual language to trigger emotion. In the #stayathome campaign, they show us a house, but they also show us the people inside it, the memories, the experiences, and all the little things that make home more than just brick and mortar.

But the true stroke of brilliance is in how they transform an intangible concept like “home” into a touchstone. It becomes the true center of life, and they use keywords and ideas to reinforce that, like “where you celebrated good news”, “refuge”, “the place where you can be yourself”. The seamlessly shift from there to an engaging CTA: “Feel me. Smell me. Enjoy me.” There’s hope for the future there and a reminder that home (and Ikea, naturally…) will always be there for you.

Ikea carries this touchstone through into their make-home-count campaign. Like the other campaign, home is the place where all the important things in life happen, with the people you love most. This one also relies on simple language to emphasize core concepts.

And we’ll be honest, you might need a box of Kleenex for these videos, not because they’re sad, but because they’ll deluge you with a tidal wave of love and hope. Just what the doctor ordered!

It’s o.k. to be who you are

Piggybacking on Ikea’s “place where you can be yourself”, Mastercard gave us their “True Name” campaign this year. Warmly inclusive, it reminds us that whether you’re cis, trans, or anywhere on the nonbinary spectrum, it’s o.k. to be you!

In a year rife with isolation, this message couldn’t come at a better time. We all want to be seen, to be accepted for who we really are and Mastercard stepped up and made a bold point of it. “Your true identity should never be denied.”

You don’t get more personal than that. By confirming trans and nonbinary identities, Mastercard confirms that the future is open to everyone.

And that leads us to the last of our selection…

The best global PR campaigns show you how to be your best self

It’s clear from the PR campaigns we’ve shared so far that the best campaigns this year did three key things:

  1. They evoked powerful feelings of home, togetherness, self-worth, and wonder by relying on keywords and phrases, reinforced by visuals that appeal to the universal imagination.

  2. To give global appeal to their message and CTA by expressing concepts that are universally shared in one way or another: home, love, identity, laughter.

  3. They gave us a reason to be positive about the future.

Did we miss anything? Hmm… Oh yes!

They encouraged us to be our best selves.

In reminding us to laugh, to focus on what counts, and to be inclusive, all of these campaigns encourage us to focus on the good, to not let the trials and tribulations of the day get the better of us. From Spain to Singapore, to the U.S. and beyond, these brands and organizations reminded us of who we can be when we focus on the right things.

And that’s why we’re going to close with maybe our favorite of the bunch, Guinness’s’ St. Patrick’s Day Message. This one hit us in the nostalgia, reminded us that “we’re all human”, gave us hope that we’ll “celebrate again” and left us with this:

Remember to raise each other up. Be good to one another! Celebrate safely. Thank the ones protecting us.

That’s a message we can all use – wherever we are on the planet. And it’s a great way to close out the year!

Want to make sure your global PR campaign pops the right way in every language? As a creative translation agency, that’s kind of our thing. Get in touch with us today!

P.S. We ran out of space, but we’d love for you to check out the World Food Program’s #stopthewaste campaign and Apples “Creativity goes on”. Those are just two more to inspire you on your quest to create campaigns that matter!