These brands had the most effective ad campaigns in the United States in 2020

January 14, 2021, 3:46 PM GMT+0

Every day, consumers are inundated with advertising from every direction. It takes a well-delivered or well-supported message to break through the noise.

YouGov is able to identify which brands had ad campaigns that cut through that noise. A look through the data reveals a tableau that perfectly encapsulates 2020 for Americans. Our list includes a social media company, a medical company, a cleaning product, a gaming console, and a meal-delivery platform.

These brands saw the highest year-over-year increase in advertising awareness:


2020 saw the start of the fifth-generation console wars and it appears PlayStation is winning the ad-awareness battle. Sony’s console reveal and rollout included ad spots that focused on the immersive tech, including haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, and 3D audio. Ad Awareness for the PlayStation brand increased 30% between December 2019 and December 2020.


Doordash walked into 2020 with a strut. General Awareness, Purchase Intent and Ad Awareness of the brand ballooned in 2019. As much of the world was stuck at home under lockdown measures and pining for take-out, Doordash saw its metrics rise even higher in 2020. Its ad campaigns focused on its ease of use, variety, and its ability to help restaurants in a tough economic climate. The brand’s momentous year ended with a crescendo: its shares traded at US$182 on the New York Stock Exchange hours after its initial public offering of $102 per share on December 9, 2020. The number of Americans who say they’ve seen an ad for Doordash increased by 29% this year.


Cleaning and disinfectant brand Lysol saw a bump in the United States early in the pandemic for obvious reasons. The brand parlayed that success into further paid media throughout 2020, which included TV ads regarding what surfaces you can clean with Lysol and its 2020 Healthy Schools Program. Lysol saw a 47% increase in Ad Awareness in 2020.


There’s no denying TikTok became a full-fledged mainstream platform in 2020, even as the firm dealt with increased government scrutiny in the United States government. The pandemic appeared to be a catalyst for the already-growing medium which offered a new escape from the stresses of 2020. Its short videos are easily shared on other platforms – Twitter, Facebook, YouTube – with its watermark on the bottom right corner, which helped to further build awareness of the brand. TikTok saw its Ad Awareness score increase by 74%. .


A brand isn’t going to release a clinically tested vaccine in the middle of a pandemic and not get garner some attention along the way. While Pfizer saw a massive increase in earned media as people around the globe paid close attention to vaccine developments, the company also invested in paid advertising. In the first months of the pandemic, Pfizer started its “Science Will Win” campaign. As its vaccine trials ended, the brand also released a thank-you message to the trial’s volunteers. Pfizer’s Ad Awareness increased by 66% in 2020.

Methodology: The listed brands saw the highest year-over year increase in Ad Awareness for the period November 8 – December 8. Increases listed on chart and in text refer to the scores on December 8, 2019 and December 8, 2020 on a four-week moving average. Average four-week sample was between 1,408 and 2,826 US adults depending on brand. Interviews were carried out online.

Image: Sony

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