2020 in Review: The Biggest Stories of the Year

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(2020, we give you the finger)

It’s almost over. Dear 2020, the Reel 360 team must not-so-politely ask you to get the f*ck out of our collective lives. Don’t pout. Don’t be insulted. We endured you for 365 days. We even reported on what you had to offer which wasn’t much. Now it’s time for you to go.

When we sat down to discuss our biggest stories of 2020, it was hard to remember anything that happened if it didn’t involve COVID-19, the election, Trump or Black Lives Matter.

Believe us when we say, Reel 360 and our sister publication Reel Chicago had many a meeting and sleepless night wondering aloud should we cover THAT? And we aren’t talking about Pornhub or Kylie Jenner. Okay, we did discuss those, too.

Many of our 2500 or so stories we covered, contained one of those four words or phrases. So, if you would like to read our coverage of COVID, click CLICK HERE. Or for the election, CLICK HERE. Trump, CLICK HERE. And Black Lives Matter, CLICK HERE.

As we listed our top stories of 2020 we tried to steer clear of those. But it was hard. Chances are you will see some kind of overlap in some of the stories below. But 2020 was not all doom and gloom. There were happy stories. Lily returned to advertise AT&T. Zack Snyder prepped Justice League. BBDO and David&Goliath showed up in our top stories multiple times.

Then there was Anna Kendrick. And the Lincoln Project. How we will miss your advertising. Below are the stories which not only caught our attention, but our readers and advertisers as well. Feel free to sing one last time, “You about to lose your job” while you look:

REEL 360 top 20 stories for 2020

20. Forget finding your Happy Spot, try the Skippy Place

Created by our friends at BBDO Minneapolis, these music-driven spots showcase those moments in life where you could really use a second to yourself. And after 2020, who couldn’t use that?


19. Watch the catchiest video you’ll see all week

A music video of a Black woman in handcuffs, standing next to a police officer twerking and singing You About to Lose Your Job was created by DJ iMarkkeyz and remixgodsuede.


18. Truly Hard Seltzer brings the flavor in new campaign

Truly Hard Seltzer has dropped a brand new campaign, created by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, calling on drinkers to be their original and flavorful selves and never letting anyone stand in their way. We loved the Soul Train line.


17. Kia K5 lands a first-ever flat spin 360-degree stunt

In a stunt straight out of the Fast&Furious, the :60 effort from David&Goliath features legendary Hollywood stunt driver Jalil Jay Lynch taking the wheel of the Kia K5.


16. Zack Snyder shares new Steppenwolf preview

There’s a lot of curiosity, fear and anticipation around Director Zack Snyder’s Justice League. To build excitement, Snyder released an image of this original version of villain Steppenwolf. And our readers responded in droves.


15. JJ Watt and bros star in new Subway campaign

A new national campaign for Subway features football stars JJ, TJ, and Derek Watt. The three are featured to spotlight Subway’s BOGO Footlong program. The campaign was created by new campaign from The Franchise@Dentsu (mcgarrybowen NY and Carat ).


14. Sarah Cooper outtrumps Trump’s cognitive test

Here, Sarah Cooper takes some of the President Trump’s more bizarre comments during a very bizarre Fox News interview and skewers him. We know, we know we said no Trump in our top stories. But we couldn’t pass this one up.


13. Kia’s ‘Good Program’ to donate $1m to homeless youth

Kia’s “Accelerate The Good Program,” announced a program via David&Goliath that the automaker would make a total donation of $1 million to help homeless youth in America.


12. AT&T and Lily return in first 5G campaign from BBDO

Who knew how popular former AT&T spokeswoman Lily was? Since Lily’s return to AT&T in May, she came back for a third installment of the latest series of ads from BBDO Los Angeles and Critical Mass


11. Eva Longoria, Liev Shrieber daydream with Stella Artois

Stella Artois reminded us that they’re only a daydream away from ‘The Life Artois‘ by introducing the ‘You’re Never Too Far From The Life Artois’ campaign. The TVC was created by AOR Pereira O’Dell 


ALSO READ: 2019 in Review: The Best of “Reel Ad of the Week”


10. James Corden is a “fat pussy” & other Ricky Gervais jokes

Ricky Gervais returned with all of his barbs and attacks on Hollywood royalty as he hosted The 77th Golden Globes for a fifth time. One of the most memorable jokes involved James Corden and his appearance in the flop Cats.


9. Crowds flood Atlanta mall to buy Air Jordans

Atlanta’s Greenbriar Mall saw massive crowds gather Saturday to buy the new Air Jordan sneakers after COVID lockdown restrictions were lifted.


8. NUTRO Pet Food asks “Who Wants A Walk?”

With many Americans still adhering to stay at home guidelines due to the current pandemic, people are constantly looking for excuses to get outside and stretch their legs. NUTRO Brand Pet Food launched a campaign comedically depicting the recent trend.


7. Jenny Milkowski, Media Queen, Taco Lover

For Women’s History Month in March, we feature talented and astounding women in the media. Jenny Milkowski is a reporter, digital and social media host, Comedian, Dancer, very Polish and she was our top Reel Woman.


6. TNT celebrates ‘Snowpiercer’ with train car design contest

In celebration of Snowpiercer’s premiere last night, TNT invited fans to design one of 1,001 virtual Snowpiercer cars for the luxury train. And wow did our readers respond.


5. King Keraun is Madden 21’s new Spokesplayer

New York-based agency Johannes Leonardo created an epic new character to usher in a new generation of NFL gamers and athletes for Madden. His name – The Spokesplayer. 


4. Lincoln Project recreates ’80s parody for “Regeneron”

After President Trump claimed he was cured of coronavirus, the Lincoln Project recreated a satirical 80’s commercial, mocking his praise for Regeneron. The video, depicted Trump as a TV salesman hawking a product in a commercial. And we loved it.


3. All Lives Can’t Matter unless Black Lives Matter

Never in Reel 360’s short history have we gotten so much hate for an article. To support the ongoing fight for racial justice for the Black community, the Ad Council and R/GA have launched a new PSA from the iconic Love Has No Labels campaign to inspire all Americans to fight for racial equality. How some of our readers felt death was the required punishment for an ad touting racial equality we will never know.


2. Lily’s back… at home in two new AT&T spots

Remember Lily? From 2013-2017 AT&T store manager Lily assisted customers in-store with her comedy and wit. With many AT&T employees working remotely, the new spots from BBDO LA & Critical Mass, featured Lily working from home, continuing to provide the same level of customer service paired with her signature wit and charm.


1. Anna Kendrick is back singing “My Favorite Things” for Frito-Lay

We were so stoked when Anna Kendrick returned to  Frito-Lay’s rendition of the classic “MyFavorite Things” to mark the official start of holiday season. So were our readers.


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There were plenty more stories. How could there not be? We published almost every day of the year during 2020, expanding to Saturday and Sunday. We will continue to do so in 2021, bringing you more news, events and weirdness from the worlds of advertising, film, TV, music, social, tech, celebrities and gaming.

Have the happiest of New Years from The Reel 360 team.


Contact Colin Costello at colin@reel360.com

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