The Top 6 Food and Beverage Advertising Campaigns in 2020 That Did It Right


According to researchOpens a new window by Statista, the advertising spending worldwide was close to $587 billion in 2019 and is only expected to increase in the coming years. This means more companies are spending marketing dollars to attract customers. However, while some succeed in evoking the desired response from their audience, others fail to achieve that.

In 2020, like the previous years, there were several advertising campaigns that created a memorable buzz among their audience. When it came to the FMCG and food and beverage (F&B) industries, there were also a few themes that shaped campaigns this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on advertisements, there was an increased focus on winning customer trust and taking a social stand. Here is a roundup of a few advertising campaigns we feel did it right in the F&B industry in 2020.

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1. Burger King Puts Its Ingredients List at the Center

How do you instill confidence in your customers in times when they are increasingly losing trust in brands? The best way is to be transparent with them. This is what the fast-food giant Burger King did. The brand’s efforts to reassure consumers that its burgers have real and edible ingredients started with its much-acclaimed and award-winningOpens a new window ‘Moldy Whopper’ campaign. The campaign, designed by agency partners David Miami, Publicis, and Indigo, showed Burger King’s iconic Whopper catching mold over 35 days. The campaign intended to stress the lack of preservatives in its burger.

The company did not stop there. With David Miami, it designed Whopper wrappers that prominently showcased the ingredients in the burger: beef, tomato, lettuce, ketchup, mayo, pickles, ketchup, and buns. The campaign aimed to be transparent with customers and show that Burger King’s burgers did not have artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Burger King Whopper Wrapper
Source: Burger KingOpens a new window

2. Intermarché Honors Frontline Caregivers

Frontline healthcare workers regularly undergo severe work-related stress and are often under-appreciated. This year’s COVID-19 pandemic was a time that pushed them beyond their limits. Through their Christmas campaign this year, French supermarket brand, Intermarché, chose to pay tribute to these healthcare workers.

The advertisement begins with a mother and son bringing the father, who suffers from a stroke, to a hospital in an ambulance. As the family anxiously waits for his recovery, the doctors and nurses work relentlessly to make him recuperate from the condition. A nurse also actively communicates with the family to give them hope. As the father recovers, the mother and son are grateful for the caregivers’ efforts. To show their gratitude, they cook a few delicious meals for the nurse and the staff.

The campaign highlights the various emotions and feelings of the characters involved (worry, hope, stress, care, and finally, a heartfelt thanks). Katia Lewkowicz of the Romance agency directed the ad. The ad echoes the extraordinary year the world is going through as well as the commitment and sacrifices of healthcare workers.

According to Vincent Bronsard, strategic and operational marketing manager at Intermarché, “We cannot imagine celebrating Christmas without paying tribute to the heroes of the year: the carers.”

Watch the complete advertisement here.

Intermarché pays homage to caregivers
Source: IntermarchéOpens a new window

3. Chipotle Launches Its First Digital-Only Kitchen

This year’s pandemic forced several brick-and-mortar businesses, including retailers and restaurants, to move online owing to changing customer preferences. While a few businesses shut shop, some of them were agile and quickly moved their business online. A few others went a step further. Chipotle launched its first digital-only restaurant in November. Named Chipotle Digital Kitchen, the outlet is located close to the military academy in Highland Falls, New York. The restaurant design will allow the brand to enter urban areas that do not support a full-size restaurant.

The digital restaurant does not have a front-service line or a dining room. Guests must use the brand’s website, its mobile app, or a third-party delivery partner to place an order. They can then pick up the order from a lobby designed to include all the smells, sounds, and visuals of the traditional restaurant. The Chipotle Digital Kitchen will also cater to bulk orders. Catering orders can be picked up from a separate lobby with a dedicated entry.

Here is an ad from Chipotle.

Chipotle Digital Kitchen
Source: Chipotle Mexican GrillOpens a new window

4. Coors Launches Hard Seltzer To Save American Waterways

As we head into the future, brands are expected to take a more active stance on social issues. This is not only from the point of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative but also establishing trust with the younger generation that cares about social issues. In fact, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer Special ReportOpens a new window , 80% of consumers want brands to solve society’s problems. Coors is a company that recently took a step toward achieving this.

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The iconic brand launched Coors Seltzer, a new hard seltzer with a mission to save American waterways one at a time. The brand intends to achieve this by partnering with Change the Course, an organization dedicated to restoring waterways. Eight of the ten largest rivers in America are already drying up. According to the brand, it saves 500 gallons of river water when it sells a case of Coors SeltzerOpens a new window . The brand has also committed to donating $1 million in the first year, irrespective of the sales. This roughly translates to restoring 1 billion gallons of water. Here is a clip from the brand’s video campaign.

The Sacrifice Campaign
Source: iSpot.tvOpens a new window

5. McDonald’s Reignites the Magic of Christmas

The Christmas festive season is a time that brings joy and enthusiasm to the entire family. However, as children start growing up, they face an internal struggle between staying young and acting mature. McDonald’s has traditionally been running Christmas-themed campaigns around Christmas for a few years now. This year, the brand did this differently by showcasing the internal struggle of a young boy. The campaign pulls on the heartstrings of families across the U.K. and Ireland and reignites the magic of Christmas.

The advertisement is called Inner Child and showcases a mother struggling to encourage her teenage son to participate in the family traditions on Christmas Eve. It depicts the boy continuously wrestling with his inner child. As the advertisement closes, the boy finally embraces his inner child.

The ad shows that you are never too old to celebrate Christmas with your family and loved ones. Through the campaign, McDonald’s has committed to funding 5 million meals to FareShare, a charity network in the U.K. working toward fighting food poverty.

Inner Child
Source: McDonald’s UKOpens a new window

6. Coca Cola Brings Heart-Warming Ads for Christmas

Talking about the festival season, Coca Cola has delivered several innovative campaigns over the years. The beverage company came out with two ads for Christmas this year. The first was named ‘Holidays are Coming’ and the second one, ‘The Letter’. In a year in which COVID-19 had a massive impact on the world, the two ads bring a feeling of warmth. While Holidays are Coming is filled with nostalgia, The Letter is heart-warming. The ads also won the first two placesOpens a new window in Kantar’s most effective Christmas ads this year. The two advertisements marked Coca Cola’s hundred years of Christmas advertising.

The Letter showcases a father’s unrelenting love for his daughter and his efforts to make her Christmas wish come true. The ad starts with the father leaving for work and his daughter handing him over a letter to Santa Claus. As the father gets busy at work, he realizes that he has forgotten to post the letter. He then goes to great lengths to try and deliver the letter to Santa Claus before the festival. What follows is truly heart-tugging.

The advertisement encourages people to give something only they can give this year. Here is the full ad.

The Letter
Source: Coca ColaOpens a new window

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Wrapping Up 2020

Like the previous years, 2020 too had its share of a few great and disappointing campaigns in the food and beverage industry. However, what primarily marked this year’s campaigns was the coronavirus pandemic. Brands realized they need to build campaigns that are genuine, connect with people on an emotional level, and build trust among them. And brands that did it successfully became some of the best campaigns of the year. These campaigns also prove to be an inspiration for others to follow.

What do you think were some of the best food and beverage advertising campaigns in 2020? Do share with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .