Niche Advertising/Audience Targeting


A Roundup Of Brands Making Consumers Happy During A Time Of Uncertainty

July 14, 2020 Sarah Cavill

By most standards, 2020 has been a difficult year. However, the ability to bring joy by offering convenient and comfortable services during tough times has helped catapult some brands to new heights. Whether by being trusted voices of authority or offering time-consuming hobbies, brands that found success during the first half of 2020 were able to do so by meeting consumer expectations or matching changed consumer behaviors. 

AdAgechronicled 20 brands that are having a moment” during the last several months. Here’s a round up of some of the brands AdAge found to be winners so far in 2020.

Michael Jordan Sees His Popularity Soar With Release Of ESPN Documentary

michael jordan documentary the last dance

The loss of organized sports during the coronavirus crisis has been difficult for sports fans. In the absence of typical summer weekends spent watching baseball or tennis, many sports fans have taken to watching and playing less traditional sports. ESPN, in an effort to keep bored athletes in the public eye, introduced a big game of HORSE, and pushed up the release of the Michael Jordan documentary “Last Dance.” The surprise hit catapulted Jordan to popularity he hasn’t seen in many years, with online retailer Fanatics seeing a 900% surge in Jordan gear and the Jordan Brand approaching a billion dollars in annual revenue. Sports industry consultant David Carter told AdAge that Michael Jordan is now “relevant to an entirely new generation of sports fans and consumers.” 

Brands Honor Frontline Workers, And Consumers Rely On Dr. Fauci For The Latest Health Updates

Healthcare worries are certainly at the top of the list for many people around the world as coronavirus continues to be a concern. Many brands offered assistance to frontline workers, including Crocs, which saw ecommerce sales growth of 16% in Q1 of 2020. Additionally, telehealth became an essential part of coping with closures and social distancing during the pandemic, offering stressed people the comfort of care from home plus meditation via apps like Headspace, with downloads for the app doubling since March. 

The “brand” of reliable, informed Dr. Anthony Fauci also made AdAge’s list, with anxious Americans seeking out the steady, sage advice of the good doctor. 

Alcohol Sales Soar, And Drizly Reaps The Benefits Of Consumers Choosing Delivery

Delivery services were growing in popularity even before the quarantines began, with Ubereats GrubHub and DoorDash all vying for the top stop as the preferred restaurant delivery option. The required social distancing that began in March took delivery services to the next level, with many people trying to figure out how to leave the house as infrequently as possible, while still supporting local businesses. Drizly, an alcohol delivery service, reaped the benefits of people stockpiling their at-home bars and then stockpiling them again. Drizly, a tech startup, saw sales 400% above its pre-pandemic projections, and now includes more than 2,600 U.S. retailers as partners.

Twitch, Zoom And Animal Crossing Are Enjoying Their Moments As People Turn To Technology During Quarantines

Shutterstock_1702587238 Riga, Latvia - April 04 2020: Beautiful young woman having Zoom video conference call via computer. Zoom Call Meeting. Home office. Stay at home and work from home concept during Coronavirus pandemic

Almost immediately after quarantines began, Zoom became the go-to for business meetings, happy hours, birthday parties and virtual graduations. And, despite some bumps in the road, Zoom has seen unprecedented growth as a result. AdAge reports, “Zoom went from hosting 10 million daily meeting participants in December to 300 million by April, and from 100 billion annualized meeting minutes to 2 trillion.” Other technologies that people turned to during quarantines have also seen popularity spikes, including Nintendo game Animal Crossing and live streaming service Twitch. Animal Crossing “sold more than 13 million copies in its first six weeks since debuting on March 20,” and Twitch surpassed more than 3 billion streaming hours and became an outlet for different kinds of content, including activism that has sprung from the racial justice protests. 

The Growth Of Hobbies, Like Gardening And Baking, Helped Several Brands Capture New Customers

In the beginning there was banana bread, then the weather warmed up and cooped up families spruced up their backyards and started gardening. The quarantine led to the adoption of new hobbies, which benefited brands including King Arthur Flour and Scotts Miracle-Gro. According to AdAge, King Arthur was a “standout” flour during a time when flour sales “rose 97% in the 14 weeks [ending] June 6.” Scotts also saw tremendous growth, with its stock price up 20% in the first six months of 2020.

Every cloud has a silver lining, as the brands on the AdAge hottest brands list have proven. The key to lasting success for many of these brands may come from continuing to provide the products and services needed and wanted by consumers, even as those needs and wants change. By using this moment to diversify marketing efforts and create loyalty with new customers, brands may be able to leverage their current popularity in the new normal and sustain some amount of their current success.

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About the Author

Sarah Cavill

With more than 20 years of writing, editing and reporting experience, Sarah Cavill brings to Digital Media Solutions (DMS) a fine-tuned and diverse set of skills. Her work has been featured in notable publications including The Daily Muse, CBS Local, Techlicious and Glamour magazine. Sarah has a passion for current events and the deep-dive research that goes into the content development and brand identity of DMS Insights. In her role as Associate Content Manager, Sarah contributes to the pitching, researching and writing of multiple stories published each week surrounding digital and performance marketing innovations in pop culture, news, social media, branding and advertising.

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