The Absolute Best Brand Experiences of 2020: Top 5 Vertical Trends


Recently our very own CMO Richard Jones and Julian Bracey-Davis, took a rip-roaring run through some of the finest interactive digital Experiences from 2020. They wanted to see how brands have stepped up efforts around producing online campaigns in the past 12 months, especially as they look to gather more of their own zero-party and preference data to feed their data strategy.

See and hear how marketers, across five key verticals, are fuelling their personalization efforts to provide unique experiences as part of their loyalty programs and cross-channel messaging.

1. CPG/FMCG  Häagen Dazs and Doritos: Taking Offline Experiences and Enhancing Them Online

Customers who enter certain stores will see "Häagen-Dazs & Me" place cards inviting them to snap the QR code and drive to an experience and enroll in the rewards program. Once they enroll an email is triggered with a Welcome Offer that can be redeemed in the store, with subsequent monthly offers to follow for anyone that registers.


In this Doritos on-pack Instant Win promotion, a Playstation® 5 was up for grabs. Users would take their unique on-pack code, enter it along with some other first-party data via an online form, before finding out in real-time if they had won or not. Customers both had a chance to win daily and across a larger custom time window.


2. Sports  Arsenal F.C. and Manchester United: Enhancing Digital Fan Engagement. 

To coincide with the release of their brand new Adidas jerseys for the 20/21 Premier League season, Arsenal published a “Kit Launch Hub” inviting fans to send in photos, via the website and social media, of them wearing items from their 20/21 range for a chance to win exclusive prizes. The best entries also got published in a public gallery.  


With fans unable to attend matches in person due to the unprecedented effects of COVID-19, Manchester United created a global Fan Mosaic. They collected photo submissions through their website with a selected few filling the empty seats in Old Trafford. This allowed fans to feel part of their home games despite them being played behind closed doors. 


3. Media  Discovery Communications and Crown Media: Better Understanding Your Audience and Providing Value to Sponsors

Discovery Communications are at it again, with one of the largest data-centric digital sweepstakes to be found anywhere online. During their annual Dream Home Giveaway, they will collect tens of millions of data points. This offers a great opportunity to grow fan profiles over time which can be used to deliver hyper-personalized and targeted marketing communications based on preferences actively selected.


Watch and Win is one of the most unique and valuable Experiences because it provides 100% viewability. It is something that Crown Media uses to great effect, often setting up a rotating video component that features a different video each day for users to see. Content views + zero-party data collected a superpower combination. 


4. Retail — Boots Pharmacy and Pure Archery Group: Personalizing Content to Improve the Online Purchasing Experience

In 2020, Boots Pharmacy quickly had to pivot to find engaging and interactive ways to connect with their customers at home. Boots successfully achieved this through a variety of very creative and informative “Product Selectors”. For existing BootsID members no additional data capture was required, with their consented preferences automatically tracked to their unique profile.


Pure Archey Group’s current sweepstakes features one of the best-personalized email programs we’ve seen yet from a digital Experience. Following the completion of a detailed product based value-exchange sweepstakes, 6 personalized emails were triggered over 4 weeks based on the unique answers given. Bowtech also had social posts from 10 ambassadors promoting it, often a missing step when brands create these types of initiatives. 


5. Financial Services  Amica: Creating More Interactive Ways to Showcase Services

Last but by no means least we have some interesting trends in Financial Services. Here Amica utilized a branching quiz to help users find the right information on the “ Life Pathway” they were interested in exploring.


You can watch the full session here.