7 buzzworthy brand activations in 2020

Brands adapted memorable in-person experiences to virtual ones due to the pandemic this year.

1. Dunkin’ Donuts Refreshers RV Giveaway

In August, Dunkin’ Donuts launched a “Refreshers RV” giveaway to satisfy pent up wanderlust and promote its new iced beverages, Dunkin’ Refreshers. Winners and their “quaranteams” received a week-long RV rental experience to a destination of their choice. The RV was decked out in Dunkin’ décor, including a Keurig K-Mini Plus coffee maker with Dunkin’ K-Cup pods and a Dunkin’ gift card. Participants filled out the entry form and shared it on their Instagram page using the hashtag, #DunkinRefreshSweepstakes, giving the campaign some buzz online.

2. MTN DEW ‘Out Here. It’s DEW’

In July, MTN DEW gave outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to apply for a $20 stimulus check toward fishing and hunting permits in the heartland: the Midwest. Participants who submitted photos of their fishing or hunting permits from 2019 were eligible for the prize.

3. Stella Artois ‘Hotel Artois @ Home’

Stella Artois launched a virtual hotel experience for Americans avoiding travel during the pandemic back in August. The Belgian beer brand sporadically released four free hotel reservations through its booking portal. Winners received a door-side delivery experience including a personalized wake-up call from actor Liev Schreiber, room-service meals created with actress Eva Longoria in collaboration with local chefs and a virtual chat with Bravo host Andy Cohen. Other goodies included a branded robe and slipper set and a table for video-conferencing with celebs.

4. Coors Light ‘Could Use a Beer’

Coors Light gave away $1 million of free beer in an April social media campaign. The initiative allowed people to send a beer to a friend by using the hashtag #coulduseabeer, to which Coors Light replied with a reimbursement code for the price of one six-pack.

5. Checkers & Rally’s ‘Mother Cruncher’

Checkers & Rally’s decided to crunch away 2020 in a December event named for its Mother Cruncher chicken sandwich. The fast food brand asked fans on social media what they wanted to demolish from the past year, including quarantine, toilet paper and murder hornets. The QSR chain then transformed a farm in Hagerstown, Maryland, into a monster truck arena where a truck ran over four salvaged cars to represent the worst parts of 2020.

6. Jamestown ‘VNYE’

Jamestown, the company behind the annual New Year's Eve celebration at One Times Square in New York City, is going virtual this year. The immersive AR experience will allow consumers to visit Times Square via personalized avatars, and experience exclusive content, streams and giveaways at the Ultimate Gamer Lounge. Participants can also visit the Time Gallery, featuring 60 pieces of multimedia from more than 45 digital and contemporary artists. 

On December 31, users can view New Year’s Eve celebrations from around the world and enjoy the iconic ball drop with fireworks from Times Square. Jamestown partnered with Samsung, AWS, Twitch, NASA and Ultimate Gamer to create the experience.

7. Procter & Gamble ‘Distance Dance’

Back in April, TikTok influencer Charli D’Amelio partnered up with P&G on a dance to promote social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus. D’Amelio performed the dance to the song “Big Ups” by Jordyn and Nic Da Kid ft. Ying Nnelg, encouraging fans to post their own dance videos with the hashtag #DistanceDance. P&G pledged donations to Feeding America and Matthew 25: Ministries for the first three million videos shared.

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