#BestofTweets 2020: Twitter picks 10 brands worth remembering from a year we’ll never forget

Twitter’s internal team honored brands that found creative ways to connect with consumers during the pandemic.

SAN FRANCISCO: At the end of each year, Twitter’s internal team devises a list of the brands that stood out on the social network’s platform over the previous 12 months.

Usually, the list highlights quirky and fun campaigns, with categories unique to the big moments from that particular year. But when Twitter’s internal creative teams sat down to discuss what they were going to do for the 2020 list, it was immediately apparent that they needed to take a different approach.

“We wanted to reinvent the categories to reflect the trials and tribulations and difficulties of 2020,” said Ryan Oliver, Twitter Next’s senior director for the U.S. and Canada. “We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge this wasn’t an ordinary year.”

Twitter decided to honor the brands that were resilient and found creative ways to navigate and connect with consumers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This year presented various opportunities for brands to stand up and be part of the conversation versus putting their head in the sand, Oliver said. 

“We wanted for this set of awards to be an ode to the brands worth remembering from the year we will never forget,” he added.

Here are Twitter’s #BestofTweets 2020 honorees…

Best campaign for quenching our thirst for sports: Gatorade

When live sports were abruptly taken away in 2020, ESPN’s The Last Dance quickly became the sports event of the year and reignited fans’ passion for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. This was @Gatorade’s time to shine, except they weren’t an official sponsor. So they partnered with the NBA to turn back the clock, streaming Game 6 of the 1998 Finals on Twitter. The brand teamed up with OMD, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Optimum Sports and Swift.

Best campaign for driving positive change: Uber

In collaboration with Wieden+Kennedy and MediaCom, @Uber’s in-house creative team asked everyone to stay home with its #MoveWhatMatters campaign. And even though its message on Twitter was to stop using the app, it never stopped moving. Uber drivers delivered 10 million free rides and food to frontline workers, seniors and people in need.

Best brand speaking out and standing up: Ben & Jerry’s

Whether working to dismantle white supremacy or speaking out against the gender pay gap, @benandjerrys took a stand on Twitter.

Best campaign for connecting us from the couch: Trolls

With the pandemic leading to movie theaters closing, Universal Pictures released Trolls World Tour directly to premium video-on-demand and hosted a live watch party on Twitter. Universal and its partner agency Essence took to Twitter to spread the word and celebrate the film’s release. Trolls World Tour became the biggest Universal digital release.

Best campaign for redefining home entertainment: Verizon

With partner agencies R/GA and VM1, @Verizon launched PayItForwardLIVE livestreaming concerts and gaming events on Twitter for eight weeks. While entertaining fans, Verizon also helped small businesses affected by the pandemic. The first livestream featuring Dave Matthews Band gained a 100% net positive brand sentiment – the highest for a Twitter livestream by or from a brand.

Best campaign from the future: Westworld

Leading up to the premiere of Westworld Season 3, HBO’s in-house creative team worked with Hearts & Science to give fans in Mexico, Brazil and the U.S. a proper #Welcometo2058. When fans liked a @WestworldHBO Tweet for a premiere reminder, a Twitter app connected to the show’s handle communicated with IBM’s Watson Personality Insights service. After analyzing the fan’s most recent Tweets, the app then assigned their fate in 2058, matching them based on personality type to old and new characters alike.

Best campaign for making us nostalgic: Airbnb

Airbnb offered consumers the opportunity to spend the night at the last Blockbuster store. It announced the offer with a tweet from the iconic video store itself (and its first in six years).

Best campaign for making missing out memorable: Chase

Chase, along with VaynerMedia, asked the collective graduating class of 2020 to #ShowMeYourWalk. This consisted of a two-part graduation event livestreamed on Twitter, one for high school and college grads, and another for historically Black colleges and universities. #ShowMeYourWalk got 44 times more views livestreaming on Twitter than any other social video platform.

Best campaign that rallied their community: Manny’s Deli

Manny’s Deli co-owner Dan Raskin let his followers know when his family business began to feel the repercussions of COVID-19. With help from Fresh Content Society, Manny’s Deli asked neighbors to show some neighborly love. With a single tweet, it drove a 1,500% increase in sales, 20 million media impressions and 500,000 engagements across all channels and media pickup.

Best campaign for pivoting when it counts: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau and its agency partners Reingold and Culture One World used Twitter’s takeover products to drive awareness and own the coveted top place on the timeline for 24 hours for the #2020Census launch. They also got influencers on board to speak to young people and those in underrepresented communities.

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