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Boundary-Pushing Media Plans of 2020

Modern media agencies must become increasingly more creative to keep up with the pack, and that was especially true in 2020. The media landscape is more cluttered than ever, and with massive shifts in consumer behavior caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic, media plans in 2020 needed to be truly innovative to make an impact.

Best Media Plans of 2020

Here are a few outstanding media plans from the previous year that delivered powerful marketing with maximum impact. (Some of these media plans actually kicked off in late 2019, just in case you’re wondering how they were able to utilize public spaces without restriction.)

Comedy Central Started Taking the Subway

To promote one of their shows, South Side, Comedy Central emphasized location. They launched a large-scale OOH campaign that involved a branded takeover of the Sox-35th L station near Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. According to Comedy Central, 8 million Chicagoans saw it. The campaign also featured screenings of the show at local barber shops where free haircuts were offered, a rent-to-own pop-up store at ComplexCon Chicago and local radio ads.

Subaru Advertised “Underdogs” Instead of Cars

Subaru and the ASPCA have been teaming up since 2008 to help shelter dogs get adopted, and in 2020, they went all out. For the “Make a Dog’s Day” campaign, they designated October 22 as a holiday. On that day, Subaru replaced the cars on its homepage with pictures of “underdogs”, shelter dogs that are harder to find a home for because of their age, disabilities or other reasons.

The result: 4 million likes and 76K mentions were generated on Twitter thanks to a first-view placement on Twitter and a promoted #MakeADogsDay hashtag. There were 20K searches for “Subaru Dogs” due to the publicity, too.

Reese’s Made an ASMR Video

Yes, this actually happened. The branded movie is called Reese the Movie: A Movie About Reese, and it stars five top ASMR creators, a.k.a., ASMR-tists. The movie accumulated more than 500,000 views, which isn’t too shabby. What’s really impressive is the media blitz launched to promote it, though.

They wanted it to feel like the release of a real blockbuster movie:

  • Advertising during the premier of season 3 of The Handmaid’s Tale

  • A homepage takeover of YouTube

  • The creation of profiles on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb

  • OOH and in-theater ads across Canada

  • An actual national press junket with movie stars

  • A premier on the Crave streaming platform followed by a run on YouTube

In total, this media campaign garnered 62 million earned impressions and $10.4 million in free media over and above their paid schedule. Reese’s also saw a 70% bump in Google searches for “Reese”, a 3% increase in brand affinity and 0.4 points of growth in market share.

Keep Pushing Boundaries into 2021

We might have high hopes that 2021 won’t turn out like 2020 did, but that doesn’t mean you can take a break from developing innovative media plans to promote your messaging. After several decades of frolicking in the media landscape, our media stewards at The Ward Group know how to evolve and seize new ideas. If you have big ideas for the year ahead, now is the time to start making plans and setting them in motion. Contact us today to meet your new team of media experts and get started!

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