TRENDS

The Best Ad Films of the Pandemic-Hit Year

23 February 2021 | Archita for Red Bangle

2020 is over but the pandemic continues. And so does working from home, avoiding crowds, following social distancing norms, and of course, wearing face masks.

The pandemic threw our lives into a tizzy. But the advertising industry, no stranger to adversity, came up with ways to work around the problems; adapting and moving forward with doing some fantastic work in a year that truly, was like no other.

We made a list of our favourite ads from 2020. Now this list is not based on some research or analytics. As a video production agency we love to see true creative art behind commercials, and so we picked these ads based on originality, creativity, and more importantly ‘relatability’ when it came to talking about issues associated with the pandemic.

So without further ado, here’s our list:

Ad Film 1: Match.com’s A Match Made in Hell

Every once in a while, a supergroup with incredible marketing and social clout comes together that takes the advertising industry by storm. In 2018, that’s exactly what Maximum Effort did with Ryan Reynolds and marketing veteran George Dewey.

The creative dynamos behind some of the most amusing, sardonically witty, and memorable ads of the past couple of years have not disappointed this year either. The Match.com ad tops our list purely for this very reason. In this devilishly hilarious ad, we see the hellish couple Satan and 2020 (personified) swipe right on each other and set about doing things that people on dates do, resulting in them unwittingly causing havoc everywhere they go. This ad was a clever way of using the typical lockdown scenarios like toilet paper hoarding, closing of gyms and movie theatres that gave everyone a good laugh and hopefully some motivation to singles out there to not lose heart, even if the time for dating looked unfavourable.

 

Ad Film 2: Bumble’s Love Will Find A Way

Love in the time of Corona is very much possible! If Match.com took a hilarious approach to talk about dating during a pandemic, closer home, Bumble did a soft take on how ‘love will find a way’, because social distancing doesn’t have to mean emotional disconnecting. The ad captures different stories of virtual dating, showing young Indians that romantic courtship and falling in love can still be an exciting possibility in 2020. We liked how Bumble realistically showcased the feelings of isolation during the lockdown and artfully plugged their app as a solution for it.

 

Ad Film 3: Tesco’s No Naughty List

This has got to be the cheekiest ad of 2020. The supermarket tells its customers that there is no ‘naughty list’ this year and urges them to treat themselves to the good things without feeling any guilt. This prompts the customers to make an admission of their guilt. They are seen confessing to not singing ‘Happy Birthday’ while washing hands (a popular approach to ensure 20 seconds of effective hand scrubbing), to having given bad haircuts to being a part of the famous toilet paper hoarding phenomenon — thus making the ad relatable and very endearing. The ads made in 2020 could really serve as a live recording of a major historical event. When we have all gotten over the after-effects of pandemic, these ads could take us back through all the big and small sacrifices we had to make collectively.

 

Ad Film 4: Cadbury’s Not Just A Cadbury Ad

This was one of the most favourite Diwali ad campaigns of 2020. Cadbury won everyone’s hearts in India by promoting more than 1,800 local businesses impacted by lockdown. This hyper-local, data-driven campaign was released during Diwali to urge viewers to support local businesses in their neighbourhoods. Cadbury did not care about taking the limelight away from itself, instead, it took joy in promoting smaller retailers. With so much uncertainty everywhere, Cadbury made us regain faith in humanity. Another great example of how the brand inventively turned a hardship into an opportunity to show its magnanimity.

 

Ad Film 5: Apple’s The Whole Working-From-Home Thing

One cannot end a blog about the pandemic ads without mentioning the Apple ad. This ad nails the unpreparedness of all of us working-from-home as a new normal. The new reality was thrust upon us and let’s admit it, we all went quite crazy navigating our way through the glitchy video conference calls, the long hours of working in pyjamas, the madness of managing home and kids while meeting the unrelenting demands at work. We liked how Apple made light of a very surreal reality that everyone struggled with in 2020, while showing, in parallel, how their products and features can help make lives easier during tough times.

What are your thoughts on our list of favourites? Let us know in the comments below.

Alternatively, you could also check out our Interactive Reviews feature. The Red Bangle team has been working through the pandemic, collaborating with teams across the world, and doing what we do best — making videos!