5 min read

A Look Back at Marketing in 2021

Published on
December 31, 2021
2021 22 orange background
Leah Camps
Marketing Executive
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As we approach the end of another eventful year, we're taking a look back at some of the key moments from marketing in 2021 and the lessons we've learnt. In everything from big Instagram updates, lots of reactive tweeting and incredibly creative adverts - this year is not short of memorable moments so let's get straight into it...

The Year of Less is More

In 2021, we saw brands prioritising more personal ads as well as using their strong visual identity to create ads with a lot less copy and more simple visuals. For example we saw Mcdonald's use their famous golden arches to create ads that nodded to their branding but could use much simpler copy and more impactful graphic design, like you can see below...

'Lights On' by Leo Burnett, London. üëè

This campaign ran as a reminder that even when customers couldn't get to Mcdonald's through lockdown, they would deliver to them.#creative #graphicdesign #adcampaign(Source: )— Design Cloud (@designcloudapp) December 1, 2021

This campaign from earlier in 2021 was called 'Lights On' by Leo Burnett, and it features the famous golden arches as an almost pathway which ends in a lit up room to illustrate how Mcdonald's were offering delivery to those who couldn't get to them through lockdown. It does all that with just a few simple shapes and two words, 'We Deliver.'Another example of a brand that used their strong brand identity to create simple, powerful ads this year was Kit Kat. In the examples below, we see how they hint towards their slogan 'Have a break, have a Kit Kat' through the use of creative graphic design and again, just a few words.[gallery size="medium" ids="|,|,|"]This print ad was created by an agency called Independent Ones and is part of a campaign called "Get Your Break Back."Not only did we see a lot of simplicity in the advertisement space, but 2021 saw a lot of brands undergo rebrands that saw them take on a much more minimalistic look. Kicking off the year, Burger King generated a lot of attention for this clean new look...

Updated Burger King logo design

(Source: JKRGlobal)This rebrand by the incredibly talented branding agency, Jones Knowles Richie, saw the brand adopt a more organic and fresh look compared to their previous logo which featured more artificial looking highlights and colours so that they could better advertise their food as higher quality.Throughout 2021 we also saw BMW introduce a rebrand of their iconic logo that saw it feature more negative space and ditch the highlights for a flatter design. Other rebrands included Pfizer, Fisher-Price,Volvo.

Creative Advertising at It's Best

We're a team of creatives, so we really love when we see big brands using their space to come up with original concepts that make inventive ads. This year the advertising space was full of companies thinking outside the box with their ads, and here's a roundup of some of our favourites...

Uber Eats

This Uber Eats ad was released to advertise the benefit of using their delivery service compared to going to collect food yourself. This stood out to us for a few reasons. Not only does it follow the idea of using minimal copy with simple imagery to create a more easily understandable ad for your whole audience, but also that it's best to focus the ad itself on one real benefit of your service.This new Uber Eats ad really creatively uses imagery and simple copy to highlight how much easier it is to have food delivered by them üí°

What do you think of the latest ads?Agency: Wolf BCPP, Chile#advertising #creativeadvertising #copywriting #digitalmarketing #marketing— Design Cloud (@designcloudapp) October 27, 2021

For example, Uber could have focused on any number of USP's including their intuitive interface or their speedy delivery times but instead chose to focus the ad on the number one reason anyone would ever begin to use their service... because it's just easier than going to pick food up. So next time you get caught up in creating ads around a USP, it's worth spending some time to think about whether it's something that is truly important to your audience.

Burger King

If you're a marketer, we know you appreciate it when brand's inject some humour into their marketing campaigns. In fact, it makes a huge difference for anyone who views ads because we are bombarded with so many of them nowadays. This funny recruitment ad for Burger King found its way shared across social media channels because it made us all smile. This Uber Eats ad from 2021 taught us the power of using humour and relating to your audience in a really human way. Making that a priority will help you see better results in terms of engagement compared to making your ad one big sales pitch, and it'll also do more in the way of building a positive reputation around your brand.Well played Burger King üòÇüëè

What a creative recruitment ad poster design!#creative #design #addesign #graphicdesign #copywriting— Design Cloud (@designcloudapp) October 1, 2021

A Year of Brand Reactions

In 2021, brand's used their platforms to get involved in greater conversations being had by their audience. Not only has it been fun to watch from the side, but brand's have generated a lot of awareness by creating reactive posts to big events and news. Most of these brand reactions took place on Twitter, and we weren't short of options when it came to some to include in this blog post. Take a look below...

Drake Lover Boy Album Release

Drake's new album release caused a stir around September as brand's started to recreate the album cover's graphic design to advertise their products and services. We saw brands recreate the graphics using their well-loved product range and use a play on words of the album's title 'Certified Lover Boy' to get involved in a big conversation happening by their audience and generate a tonne of awareness in the process.certified creative boy

— Adobe (@Adobe) September 3, 2021

More like Certified Doritos Lover

— Doritos (@Doritos) September 2, 2021

Even Pepsi joined the party...

The day Facebook Went Down

On October 4, Facebook and its associated companies went down and we were all left scratching our heads for a moment on what we should do with all our spare time. So it seemed we all headed over to Twitter, who were more than happy to welcome all the new visitors...

Once again we saw brand's taking advantage of a big moment in the media that they could get involved with, and it wasn't just social media or tech brands...

when instagram and facebook are all down but you're not worried because you are eating a whopper

— Burger King (@BurgerKing) October 4, 2021

hi what can i get u

— McDonald's (@McDonalds) October 4, 2021

Overall this year, it seems like we've been getting to know big brands better than ever. In a world absolutely full of advertisements and marketing, it's been so refreshing to see more conversational approaches to marketing to an audience. We've seen brands put the importance back on creating high quality graphic design, refreshing their brand looks so they stay relative to the modern consumer and creating content that is genuinely interesting to the viewer. We hope to see lots more of this in 2022 too. For more design-related goodness, have a look at more Design Cloud articles here.