The 10 most creative brands on Twitter in 2020

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Liz Lenahan, scaled business marketing lead, Twitter
E.J. Samson, content and social business strategy lead, Twitter

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve thrown your fair share of 2020 marketing plans out the window. Scrapped shoots, delayed launches, ever-shifting budgets, Zoom this, Zoom that. These challenges have pushed marketers creatively, leading to some incredible work — especially on Twitter. From epic watch parties to crucial campaign pivots, marketers brought all the feels and got to the heart of what marketing is all about — connecting with people.

These are the 10 campaigns and brands worth remembering from 2020.

1. Best campaign for quenching our thirst for sports

Twitter’s pick: Gatorade

When live sports were abruptly taken away from us in 2020, ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ quickly became the sports event of the year and reignited fans’ passion for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. This was Gatorade’s time to shine, even though it wasn’t an official sponsor. So, it partnered with the NBA to turn back the clock, streaming Game 6 of the 1998 Finals on Twitter (spoiler alert: Bulls win their sixth title). Teaming up with OMD, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Optimum Sports and Swift, Gatorade gave Twitter users the big sports moment they so badly needed, iconic ‘Be Like Mike’ ads and all.

2. Best campaign for driving positive change

Twitter’s pick: Uber

When everyone is urged to stay put, how does a brand built on moving people respond? By putting safety first. In collaboration with Wieden+Kennedy and MediaCom, Uber’s in-house creative team asked us all to stay home with its #MoveWhatMatters campaign. And even though their message on Twitter was to stop using the Uber app, the company never stopped moving. Uber drivers delivered 10 million free rides and food to frontline workers, seniors, and people in need. We’d say that’s worthy of a perfect rating.

3. Best brand speaking out and standing up 

Twitter’s pick: Ben & Jerry’s

There’s no arguing that it was a tough year filled with difficult (yet necessary) conversations. And while many brands chose to avoid the spotlight, Ben & Jerry’s stepped up. Whether working to dismantle white supremacy or speaking out against the gender pay gap, the beloved ice cream company came to Twitter to take a stand. Like so many other Unilever brands, Ben & Jerry’s used its influence to do what’s right — not what’s easy. 

4. Best campaign for connecting us from the couch

Twitter’s pick: Universal Pictures, Trolls World Tour

The beginning of a pandemic? Not ideal for a movie premiere. This was the dilemma Universal Pictures faced with the launch of ‘Trolls World Tour.’ But it knew the show must go on. In an industry first, the movie released directly to premium video-on-demand and hosted a live watch party on Twitter. Universal and its partner agency Essence took to Twitter to spread the word and celebrate the film’s release, using all the movie’s star power they could. And it worked. ‘Trolls World Tour’ became the biggest Universal digital release ever, bringing joy to families tuning in from around the world.

5. Best campaign for redefining home entertainment

Twitter’s pick: Verizon

Paying it forward is a simple, beautiful concept that Verizon acted upon in 2020. With partner agencies R/GA and VM1, the brand brought back a sense of community with #PayItForwardLIVE. Verizon live-streamed concerts and gaming events on Twitter for eight weeks, entertaining fans while helping small businesses affected by the pandemic. The first live stream, featuring Dave Matthews Band, gained a 100 percent net positive brand sentiment — the highest ever for a Twitter live stream by or from a brand. Fans and small businesses were happy — and Verizon was more than happy to pay it forward.

6. Best campaign from the future

Twitter’s pick: HBO, Westworld

Leading up to the premiere of season three of ‘Westworld,’ HBO’s in-house creative team worked with Hearts & Science to give fans in Mexico, Brazil and the U.S. a proper #Welcometo2058. When a fan liked a Westworld premiere reminder, a Twitter app connected to the show’s handle communicated with IBM’s Watson Personality Insights service. After analyzing the fan’s most recent activities, the app then assigned their fate in 2058, matching them based on personality type to old and new characters alike. How cool is that?

7. Best campaign for making us nostalgic

Twitter’s pick: Airbnb

Blockbuster video stores around the world have essentially become extinct — all but one. When Airbnb decided to offer the opportunity to spend the night at this one last store, they turned to Twitter. More specifically, to a single Tweet from the iconic video store itself (and its first in six years). People on Twitter went wild. At a time when we all needed an escape, Airbnb gave us the best blast-from-the-past place to do it. A beautiful example of being kind and letting us rewind.

8. Best campaign for making missing out memorable

Twitter’s pick: Chase

Walking the stage to accept your diploma is a big moment. Unfortunately, the pandemic had other plans. So, Chase asked the collective graduating class of 2020 to #ShowMeYourWalk. This consisted of a two-part graduation event live-streamed on Twitter — one for high-school and college grads, and another for historically Black colleges and universities. #ShowMeYourWalk got 44 times more views live streaming on Twitter than any other social video platform, uniting students in a way no physical stage could.

9. Best campaign that rallied their community

Twitter’s pick: Manny’s Deli

“We are struggling. This isn’t a joke. Support your fav deli for dinner tonight. Thx,” was what Dan Raskin sent to his Twitter followers when his family business began to feel the repercussions of COVID-19. With help from Fresh Content Society, Manny’s Deli took an honest approach. They asked their neighbors to show some neighborly love. And it worked. With a single Tweet, they drove a 1,500 percent increase in sales, 20 million media impressions, and 500,000 engagements across all channels and media pickup. 

10. Best campaign for pivoting when it counts

Twitter’s pick: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau spent more than a year carefully planning the launch of the census survey. Then 2020 came along. So they pivoted with the help of their agencies, Reingold and Culture One World. For the #2020Census launch, the U.S. Census Bureau used Twitter’s takeover products to drive awareness and own the coveted top place on the timeline for 24 hours. They also got influencers on board to speak to young people and those in underrepresented communities. In a year where knowledge was more important than ever, the U.S. Census Bureau went to the place where the important conversations were happening — Twitter.

The article ‘Best of Tweets 2020’ first appeared on Marketing.Twitter.com

Sources:

● Twitter Internal March 26, 2020, U.S.
● Fresh Content Society, July 14 – 31, 2020, U.S.

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