The Best Year-end Marketing Campaigns from Spotify, Mailchimp, and Bloomberg

By Gail Axelrod

If there’s anything we can all agree on, it’s that 2020 was a year like no other. And while I’m not keen to revisit it any time soon, it did produce a lot of creative marketing campaigns – after all, they do say adversity breeds creativity. So while I’m eager to put last year in the rearview mirror, I don’t want to leave it without calling out some of the most creative year-end campaigns from brands like Spotify, Mailchimp, and others.

1. Spotify’s 2020 Wrapped

Spotify 2020 Wrapped

Every year Spotify listeners await their personalized, in-app-only version of Wrapped featuring most-listened-to songs, podcasts, artists, genres, and more. But this year, Spotify used the campaign to boost interest from non-subscribers as well with an interactive landing page.

The campaign always performs well on social, creating a FOMO effect for non-members (yours truly included). And it’s a great example of how a little data can go a long way in terms of generating engagement, social sharing, PR, brand awareness, and new business.

2. Mailchimp’s 2020 Annual Report

Mailchimp 2020 Annual Report

Mailchimp resurrected their popular year-end report with a funky, interactive landing page. Like Spotify Wrapped, the report includes a range of data covering everything from emails sent (more than 330 billion!) to days worked from home and more. But what could have been just another gimmicky year-end wrap up is made powerful by the customer stories Mailchimp includes in the report – many of which highlight these companies’ own approaches to remote work, racial justice issues, digital transformation, and others.

3. Bloomberg’s 2020 Jealousy List

Bloomberg 2020 Jealousy List

Make 2020 even worse? That’s what this year’s Jealousy List did for Bloomberg staffers who were tasked with finding the articles they themselves wish they’d written for the magazine. The annual tradition is a lesson in humility, but it’s also wickedly smart. Sure, you’re giving the competition props and referral traffic, but you’re generating a ton of interest and traffic to your own site in the process. This is a Swipe I plan to steal because I’m, well, jealous of the Jealousy List.

4. Google’s Year in Search

Google Year in Search 2020

Every year Google uses annual search trends to draw conclusions about the issues that shaped the year. This year, “why” was searched more than ever: “Why are there so many fires?” “Why were so many lives lost?” “Why are people protesting?”

2020 may have left us with more questions than answers, but this campaign from Google shows us how we’re more similar than we are different. And in 2020, that’s a powerful message.

5. Nexflix’s We Watched It All Campaign

Netflix We Watched It All

Spend 2020 mostly on the couch watching Netflix? You’re not alone. The company had a blockbuster (ha) year. And their year-end ad campaign says as much declaring, “We watched it all!” But more than touting their content, this quirky ad has a message everyone can relate to: “Thank God the end of 2020 is here!”

Skip to 2021. Yes please.

So what do all of these campaigns have in common? Humility and empathy – messages we all need and can relate to right now. And while I’m keen to leave 2020 in the rearview, I’m hopeful we can take these messages into the new year. Because when it comes to marketing (and most things right now), empathy and humility matter more than ever.

What marketing inspiration have you come across lately? What should I add to my list? Let me know by tweeting me @gaxelro.