Social Samosa brings you a list of 2021 campaigns that brought us tears and joy, made us think and went the distance to make it count.
Though better than 2020, 2021 was not a kind year. It was slightly less chaotic but way more full of fear as people attempted to navigate the lesser-known worlds and find their footing. The term ‘post-pandemic’ got thrown about a lot, especially in a desperate need for hope. These sentiments then became the foundational blocks of campaigns that flourished in the year. There was a deep sense of resilience, empathy, and willpower. There were hues of strength and nostalgia, keeping us all afloat through the rough tides. People were looking for something to hold on to and, the ad world, though tired and wounded, did not disappoint. We take a look at some of the best campaigns that came out in 2021.
Together Through Tough Tides
A step forward from the PSAs, a large number of 2021 campaigns were all about being a guide for people as they got started on their journeys into a world where everything was the same and yet drastically different. These campaigns portrayed strong sentiments of resilience, empathy, and willpower — all the ingredients one needs to function in this ‘new world’.
Cadbury Celebrations created an advertising ecosystem that would benefit local businesses. Facebook and HP India amplified their roles in bringing people together in times of trouble. Brands such as Vicks and Parachute Advansed paid tribute to healthcare workers.
One campaign that stood out in this space was by Tanishq, where they spoke about the tough mental health-related conversations that couples must have before marriage. It was a result of the growing conversations around the topic through the rough days of the pandemic.
Celebration Of Acceptance
After being hit by waves of rough tides, ripples of change and acceptance often follow. It was evident in some of the campaigns that came out in 2021. Brands (and agencies) put together slightly more inclusive stories, including gender and religious identities.
Prega News acknowledged the hardships and heartaches felt by women in their journeys to become mothers, giving audiences a comforting hug. Savlon India’s Global Handwashing campaign stood out for highlighting the story of a foot artist and how a hand wash is an essential part of her routine.
Playing Up The Nostalgia
When hit by tough times, people often find comfort in known things. Hints of nostalgia were evident in various 2021 campaigns. Some of these, like the ones by Dunzo and Cult.fit, were Bollywood-themed. They made audiences smile with familiarity and humour.
Netflix’s attempt to reunite the cast of CID was well-received. A dream of the 90s kids! Cadbury Dairy Milk’s fresh rendition of an old cricket-themed ad did a lot to boost the collective morale of people at large. CRED created waves of conversations with their ad starring an angry Rahul Dravid, or as he is now better known as, Indiranagar Ka Gunda.
CRED – Rahul Dravid
Cadbury Dairy Milk
Everyday Nuance & Humour
Some of the best campaigns in 2021 were not those with heavy messaging. These were simple tales of everyday life and nuance.
Sima Taparia went against almost all her key sayings in The Indian Matchmaking to wholeheartedly support the endeavours of Burger King (with a chuckle). Swiggy concentrated on the bitter-sweet relationship of a brother-sister duo.
Tinder brought to life some beautiful tales of how people were slowly dipping their feet back into the dating pool. To promote their ‘View Once’ feature, WhatsApp put together a tale of a couple trying to go their separate ways.