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The Best Feel-Good Marketing Campaigns of 2020

2020 was a lot. A lot of confusion, a lot of stress, and a lot of loss. But weaving in between all of the negative were some pretty powerful positives. That same pattern can be found in the ad campaigns we’ve seen throughout the year. Some companies took the time and the large tone pivot to lie low, play it safe, and recuperate. Others tried to play into the events of the year, and they fell flat or backfired.    

And a choice few faced the events head-on, left us feeling uplifted, hopeful, and happy. In other words, they knocked it out of the park.   

Doing good, and making viewers feel safe and inspired will never go out of style. Companies that spoke to political change, environmental change, or even mass perspective change and acted on those messages spoke to their audiences deeper than those who danced around subjects.    

And since it was such a heavy year, we appreciated breaks from the heavy topics even more than usual.   

You Can’t Stop Us | Nike  

Nike created the ad of the year that circulated the world and set a new precedent for inspirational sports ads. With the message that we can get over every obstacle life throws at us, Nike stuck together frames from famous sports moments from over 400 hours of reels.  

This ad was so powerful because the frames match together so seamlessly, that it perfectly depicts the message that we may look different, but we are ultimately the same, and we may be fighting different monsters but we are all fighting together.  

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Credit: Ikea

Vacations in a Box

Ikea realized that many people were seriously missing traveling to new places, and we’re feeling a bit claustrophobic hunkered down in their houses. So, Ikea decided to bring travel destinations to its customers.  

Ikea created different boxes of interior decorations and tools to represent different popular travel destinations around the world. For example, the “L’amour in Paris” box sends you everything you need to recreate a romantic Parisian Bistro on your balcony with home furnishing accessories, recipes, music, movies, and even some activities to give you a little taste of French culture.  

We love this campaign so much because it addresses the issues of the global pandemic directly, but in a fun, light, easy manner. Yes, our lives are different right now. But Ikea is here to create a little whimsy in the lives of everyone staying home.  

The Show Must Go On

Amazon also tugged at hour heartstrings by speaking to all of us who had to cancel events we were looking forward to (so pretty much everyone). It also spoke to all of us who said “the show much go on” and pivoted to have the event safely, whether virtually or with social distancing.   

This story shows perseverance, diversity, and community banding together to create something beautiful. It also seamlessly weaves in Amazon’s hand in the magic.  

Credit: Chanel

Kids for Chanel

Here’s one that isn’t necessarily related to the events of 2020, but this Mother’s Day campaign was a welcome break from the constant reminders.   

Historically, mothers and Chanel No. 5 go hand-in-hand. And also hand-in-hand with mothers are children with Crayons.  

Digital Creative Director for Chanel Vincent Fichard tells It’s Nice That “All parents here at Chanel have kids passing by the office, and quite often they end up re-drawing our classic beauty products.” Chanel decided to launch a special Mother’s Day campaign leveraging a sweet selection of those kid-approved illustrations.  

We love this not because it is ground-breaking, risky, or hugely impactful. We like this because it is so heart-meltingly sweet to know that the children of Chanel employees have a hand in an international campaign.  

The Last Mile

The next on our list was launched on December 31 of 2019, but it was so close to 2020 and so emotional that we had to include it.   

The Last Mile is an homage to Beetles, the cute, innocent, happy-go-lucky Slug Bug that Volkswagen announced they won’t be making any more.   

This emotional video has something for everyone, so it pulls on 100% of heartstrings everywhere. From those who grew up with the original version to those who grew up with the new, everyone waving goodbye as the car flew up to Slug Bug heaven doesn’t leave a dry eye in the room. Not to mention the amazing graphic design skills that perfectly matched the groovy brand voice of the Slug Bug.  


These companies hit the nail on the head in 2020 with their positive campaigns. Want to top this list in 2020? Reach out to our team to set up some feel-good campaigns! 

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