2021 Summer Campaigns We Can’t Stop Talking About

Aug 4, 2021 | Brand Content, Marketing, Strategy

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Remember back in 2020 when basically every ad was some big corporation telling you they are here for you or trying to make you cry in the middle of a Tuesday? We definitely do. But if you’re one of those people who have blocked 2020 from your memory, just watch this Amazon ad for reference—

Whew…

But for real, we just all collectively went through a year of extreme uncertainty and fear. And we don’t know about you, but we are more than ready for everything to feel settled again!

In fact, Summer 2021 turned out to reflect a desire for community, fun, and freedom for most people—and well, getting back to some sort of semblance of normalcy. But was that also vibe in the advertising world?

With Summer winding down, we’re looking back on a few brands with advertising campaigns that made us even more excited for “Hot Girl Summer.” ????  You tell us if they passed the Summer 2021 vibe check:

Adidas

Alright kids… long before the age of social media and television ads (when people walked to school uphill barefoot in the snow), there were these things called billboards. In fact, billboards have been used since the 1830’s… And well, Adidas just came along and changed the whole game.

In an effort to announce the debut of their recent inclusive swimwear collection, Adidas installed the world’s first liquid billboard.

That’s right. Adidas installed a swimming pool holding 11,500 gallons of water on a popular beach in Dubai. The purpose of the ad was to reinforce that all women should be able to be confident in their swimwear no matter their appearance, and all the women in the vicinity were invited to take a very public dive into the pool.

The goal of this campaign is to encourage women of all shapes and sizes to feel powerful and comfortable in their swimwear. Senior Brand Director at Adidas Amrith Gopinath said, “Our belief is that nobody should be prevented from enjoying the benefits of being in and around the water, hence the recent launch of our diversified product offering for all women and our burkini collection.”

Budweiser

We wouldn’t expect any less from the brand that brought us the culture changing “WASSUP” commercials. In late June, Budweiser released a commercial called “Go Fourth, America” that featured actor Bill Pullman reprising his famous presidential role from “Independence Day” for the first time in 25 years. In his speech, he celebrates how America has rallied together to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and encourages the country to look towards a brighter future. “Go Fourth, America” also highlights a donation from Budweiser to Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization focused on enabling vaccine access in the U.S. and globally.

While it’s certainly not super cheeky like the beloved WASSUP frogs of old (AKA: the 90’s), this commercial gave us nostalgia, made us laugh, and almost made us cry. In a time with so much division, Budweiser found a way to connect with so many people with different backgrounds. No matter your political stance, it’s hard to watch this ad and not catch feelings. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, check it out here—

Snickers

This one might just be our favorite because Snickers really said, “I see you and I understand you,” to the working middle class. Snickers’ summer campaign is a series of videos showing people on vacation that just can’t quite relax. The only solution? A Snicker’s ice cream bar.

Picture this. You’re sitting on a beach with your bestie sunbathing and reading a nice book. Just then, a plane flies overhead… and trailing behind it is a message from work that ruins the whole vibe. If you’re triggered, you’re not alone. The plane is definitely a metaphor for how our phones have made us accessible at all times. It’s a call-out to our current culture which doesn’t really allow us to ever truly disconnect.????  Yikes… We’re pretty sure we can all relate to this one.

Oh, and here’s a little bit of insider info—This ad actually utilizes weather-based triggers for ads on Youtube, Facebook, Snapchat, and other mediums whenever the temperature rises past certain points depending on the market. That’s right, Snickers knows when you’re starting to sweat, and they’re using it!

Final Thoughts

These campaigns are all great examples of how much the advertising industry changes depending on current events. And listen, marketers have their work cut out for them, because the average consumer has gotten a lot smarter (looking at you!) and a lot more in tune to when they’re being manipulated or over-advertised to.

With the overload of campaigns and advertisements in our current climate, companies have no other choice but to think of new, creative ways to stand out. We’ve found that the biggest change in the last year is that consumers are more motivated by social justice movements than ever before. Equality is now ranked the number one biggest motivator, and diversity went up more than six places in ranking in one year. For the most part, consumers are basically saying, either get woke or get left behind.

We’ll keep watching to see how long this type of advertising is trending, and we’ll be on the lookout for what’s coming next!