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Chloe Stout 02.12.2020 In the News, Marketing & Business Development, Product, Social Media

5 Ways 2020 Has Changed Advertising Forever

2020 has certainly been an interesting year. It’s changed the world forever. And advertising is no different.

As everyone’s lives have evolved and adapted to the new normal, advertising has had to follow suit to continue appealing to consumers’ wants and needs. Consequently, we’ve seen a change in advertising channels, the content of adverts and even how they’re produced.

Are these changes forever? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…


  1. Employees at the Heart

More than ever before have businesses’ employees been at the heart of advertising.

Partly to show off the new safety methods in place, but also because they want (you could even say need) to emphasise dedication to their employees.

This is something that was covered in one of our recent webinars – Will the Current Economic Climate Impact the FinTech Revolution? One of our panellists mentioned the importance of how companies treat, not only their customers but their employees, too.

Arguably, this is not a direct result of the pandemic. This year, the number of conscious shoppers and cancel culture has also grown, meaning that companies are having to convince shoppers that they’re worthy of their custom.


  1. Human Element

Following on nicely, the human element is being emphasised in every way possible.

Thanks to the isolation caused by lockdown, brands recognise that people are far more desperate for human interaction. As a result, they’ve humanised their marketing by making it more to down-to-earth. We’ve seen a cut back in star-studded adverts and more interactive campaigns led by ordinary people.

The increase in free time can be thanked for new marketing strategies such as Wendy’s new Twitch stream! Weekly, they provide much-needed support and company whilst advertising their menu and deals.

Wendy's Twitch Stream

Similar to the first point, this Wendy’s campaign not only advertises their products but also wins them brownie points as they support individuals in a tough time.


  1. Going Where the People Are

Wendy’s campaign is extra clever because coronavirus and lockdown have also seen an increase in people playing video games.

Video games, such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons, was especially popular. Several companies took advantage of its creative capabilities, including KFC, Hellmann’s and Benefit Brows. To name a few.

Players could explore brands’ islands, win in-game prizes and customise their characters with virtual versions of their products, allowing consumers to continue to interact with their favourite brands and products in a new, virtual way.


  1. Repositioning Products

Businesses were also successful in repositioning their products into the home. This was absolutely critical for them to do to survive in a year where everyone stayed indoors.

This was especially tricky for the hospitality industry who had very limited trading opportunities.

As a result, we saw many fast-food outlets/restaurants sharing their recipes online for you to make at home. Back in April, McDonald’s shared their classic McMuffin recipe.

McDonald's McMuffin Recipe

Many may think this could put them out of business, but allowing people to recreate McDonald’s food at home means that they continue to crave the restaurant.

We all know someone who tried to eat a little healthier in lockdown. McDonald’s recipe sharing ensured that their customers remained loyal and would return when they could re-open. Now I’m craving a McMuffin…


  1. Story-telling

Lastly, as the world around us feels a little bleak and dark, businesses have been providing some escapism through more creative, story-telling adverts.

They’ve stripped back the loud, bright and annoying adverts and replaced them with the contrary.

The key example here is the GoCompare advert which is a stark contrast to the usual loud opera-filled adverts. Now we see Gio Compario out of costume and telling his own story, giving consumers a far more relaxing experience.

Sponsors of ITV’s I’m A Celebrity, Tombola Arcade, also embraced the story-telling aspect by beginning advertising for the show weeks before it’s premiere. They showed their bug mascots being packed off and shipped to Wales. Something that definitely would have excited viewers.


3Search is an award-winning UK recruitment consultancy, specialising in marketing, strategy & transformation, and tech positions. Whether you’re seeking new talent or looking for your next career move, we can help. Learn more at www.3search.co.uk

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