Year in Review: Memorable Ads from an Unforgettable 2020

Creating good. 

It’s what our clients do. And it’s what the world needs now.

In the midst of such a challenging and disruptive year, we’ve found hope and optimism in all the ways that people are working for positive change.

We’ve seen an outpouring of support and appreciation for frontline workers, an incredible movement for racial justice, and the ability of governments to help people fast – when they choose to act.

To mark the end of 2020, we’re taking a look back at some of the most eye-catching and inspiring ads from progressive movements, governments, and NGOs that are creating good around the world. 

#DefendBlackLives – Black Visions Collective

If you haven’t seen this incredible ad, check it out below. Seriously, it’s amazing. There’s no voiceover or music, just the sound of someone trying to breathe. It speaks to the struggle for racial justice with an emotional power that few scripts could match.

The Next Normal – UNESCO

We’ve been impressed by fantastic creative content from the United Nations throughout this pandemic. With beautiful visual treatment, this ad from UNESCO is a good example of how to use text-on-screen validators to deliver a great message: “Now is our chance to build a better normal. It all starts with education, science, culture, information.”

COVID ad – Federal Government of Germany

Decades from now, imagine yourself as one of the heroes who helped stop the COVID pandemic. That’s what the German government asked viewers to do with ads that make us giggle every time we see them. Extra marks to the ad makers for finding a way to use humour during such a dark time. Be sure to check out both parts below.

Everyone Counts – U.S. Census Bureau

In a year dominated by election ads south of the border, we love this 30 second spot from the U.S. Census Bureau that makes great use of split-screen visuals. It tells viewers how to complete the census – and why it matters to everyone.

The Lockdown – Women’s Aid UK

Warning: This ad is about domestic violence during lockdown. To talk about such an important issue, Women’s Aid created an ad that uses visuals of empty streets to show viewers the devastating reality of lockdown: Domestic abusers are at home. And that means home is anything but safe for thousands of women and children.

Nobody is Normal – Childline UK

The UK charity, Childline, works to prevent bullying and support kids going through tough times. This ad uses a unique animation style to help kids understand that, no matter how you feel inside, you’re not alone. And because everybody’s different, nobody is normal. 

We can’t wait to see the creativity that the new year brings from ad agencies and progressive organizations around the world. 

And we can’t wait to help our clients across Canada create good in 2021 and beyond.

From everyone at The NOW Group, happy holidays and happy new year.