2020 has certainly been an interesting year for commercials. Brands have taken virtually every approach possible to creating content this year, including commercials set to look like Zoom backgrounds, commercials made entirely of stock footage, commercials with creative workarounds to maintain distance, and the nine commercials on the list below which will likely be referenced for years to come.
We’ll go into more detail below, but here’s our list of the best commercials of 2020 in no particular order.
- Google, “Loretta”
- Progressive, “Group Outing”
- Apple, “Creativity Goes On”
- Amazon, “Before Alexa”
- Beats by DRE, “You Love Me”
- Jeep, “Groundhog Day”
- Etsy, “Gift Like You Mean It”
- Geico, “Aunt Infestation”
1. Google, “Loretta”
Early in the year, Google’s Super Bowl spot became a fan favorite and an instant classic. It manages to tie together a real-life love story with a real Google feature, making it the perfect heartwarming commercial.
2. Progressive, “Group Outing”
Progressive’s Dr. Rick spots also fall into the “fan favorite” category. The premise is that Dr. Rick is a guidance counselor helping adults not to turn into their parents, and this spot shows him coaching them through a group outing. The comedy writing infused in this concept feels fresh and makes every variation genuinely enjoyable to watch.
3. Apple, “Creativity Goes On”
This spot from Apple was one of the early examples of a commercial in the COVID-19 era, which turned to stock footage and user-generated content as a way to make up for the lack of in-person productions. Apple’s message here focuses less on any product or service offering and instead highlights the value of creativity itself.
4. Amazon, “Before Alexa”
In another Super Bowl spot from early 2020, Amazon reminds us how much Alexa has changed our lives by showing what life was like before Alexa. Seeing the silly methods that might have been used in place of Alexa’s features throughout history clearly demonstrates how much value we get out of them today.
5. Beats by Dre, “You Love Me”
The creators of this spot describe it as an exploration into Black culture: “Those who touched this piece have seen the world actively love their art or their athletic achievements, while also seeing the world continually oppress the Black community at large. Beats, the creatives, and the cast joined together with the unified goal of inspiring Black youth by highlighting the everyday beauty and rich diversity of their culture.” The result is a poignant ad that will undoubtedly make it on many “best commercials of 2020” lists.
6. Jeep, “Groundhog Day”
In another Super Bowl commercial from 2020, Bill Murray revisits his role in the movie Groundhog Day. When he wakes up and starts through the familiar sequence that he had repeated over and over again, this time, there’s a new feature: a Jeep Gladiator. It’s a fun take on an old movie and a new product all in one.
7. Etsy, “Gift Like You Mean It”
Returning to the heartwarming category, we have Etsy’s “Gift Like You Mean It” campaign. The description highlights the point behind the concept: “When it feels like the world doesn’t get you, a gift from Etsy can make you feel seen.” The agency behind the campaign, 72andSunny, shares this takeaway: “Each spot highlights a story of connection, inclusivity, and acceptance that everyone can relate to while spotlighting the personalized, one-of-a-kind, gifts you can only find on Etsy.”
8. Geico, “Aunt Infestation”
Last but not least, this Geico ad shows how easy it is to protect your home from an “Aunt Problem” with its home insurance. Other variations of this concept are Geico’s “Fencing Problem” and “Clogging Problem” ads, which are equally brilliant and fun to watch. Some commercials that rely on wordplay get old quickly, but audiences have been loving these spots this year.
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