Newsworks shares best print ads of 2020

By Hannah Ohm Thomas


London, United Kingdom


2020 was like no other.

Although there has been hardship and uncertainty, we have also seen a lot of fantastic creativity. From heartfelt messages of love and support to tackling important topics such as diversity, I picked an ad for every month of the year that aims to tell the story of 2020.

January: BBC

Dracula doesn’t do dry January. Evening commuters in the capital were greeted by this very clever standout cover wrap from the BBC. Just like us, Dracula isn’t too keen on New Year’s resolutions.

February: Tesco

Tesco launches plasters in three new skin tones. This simple but powerful ad sends a very important message. And yes, about ******* time.

March: UK telecommunications industry

The telecommunications industry united with a joint letter to consumers on what they could do to help keep the country connected at a time when people couldn’t see each other. A bold move at a time of crisis.

April: HM Government

An industry first, the “All Together” campaign launched between the newspaper industry and government helped keep the public safe and the nation united throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

May: Get Lippy

“We need to get lippy.” This colourful ad encourages people to get talking about gynae cancer and how we can help stop it from developing. This clever partnership with Vaseline very literally encourages readers to “get lippy,” raising awareness of an age-long taboo.

June: Swizzlers

Who remembers love hearts? The iconic sweet brand donated its profits to the National Health Service (NHS) at the start of the year. At the same time, it sent a special thank you to those nurses who came out of retirement to support the health service during the pandemic.

July: Peroni

The beer brand focused its messaging on what we once took for granted and never will again: walking. Calling on readers to “walk with us,” this long-form ad played on people’s experiences throughout the pandemic and is certainly worth the read.

September: KFC

You know what the fast-food chain has been saying for 64 years? Time to ignore it. KFC took a brave move by asking people to temporarily forget its tagline due to the coronavirus pandemic. Time to stop the finger licking and bring out the anti-bacterial protection.

October: Oatly

Oat yoghurt? Yes, that’s yoghurt with oat milk, and it tastes like it too. These fun and playful ads using different formats dominated the UK newspapers for a day. Instead of telling readers how great it is, the company said it was just “normal.”

November: Wilkinson Sword

This was voted the best ad of the year in our Christmas competition. If you want an example of how to do contextual advertising, this would be it. The care brand’s partnership with the Evening Standard resulted in some fantastic ads piggy-backing onto the news agenda like the U.S. election, the government’s plea to get workers back in the office, and presidential debates.

December: Uber

Nothing says standout like an impactful cover wrap. The car-sharing app asked readers to “draw, doodle, write, and rhyme” to say thank you to NHS key workers. There will be more on this campaign soon, so stay tuned via the Newsworks Web site.

Every week, the Newsworks team pick out their favourite ads from the newspapers. There are some amazing ads out there. You can explore them here.

About Hannah Ohm Thomas

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