Ad Age names TikTok Marketer of the Year

(TikTok named marketer of the year)

 Ad Age unveiled its 2020 Marketers of the Year list, with TikTok taking the #1 spot. The Marketers of the Year list, widely seen as the definitive guide to the leading forces in marketing each year, includes McDonald’s in the #2 spot, Lowe’s at #3, The Lincoln Project at #4 and Etsy at #5.

“Despite unprecedented hurdles, top marketers were able to create opportunities for growth by smartly connecting to their audiences in different ways,” said Dan Peres, editor-in-chief, Ad Age. “Beyond delivering some exceptional creative campaigns, these marketers showed us how to move and inspire consumers, even under the most challenging of circumstances. With the Marketers of the Year list, Ad Age has the honor of recognizing these companies and brands for the incredible work they’ve done.” 

TikTok snagged the coveted #1 spot for its rapid rise as a pop cultural mainstay over the course of the year. TikTok’s short-form viral videos, exemplified by the Ocean Spray “Dreams” video that took the country by storm, became a new part of the cultural lexicon, fueling countless interactions and engagements across social media platforms and, fueled by their enormous popularity, jumping over to mainstream media.

McDonald’s, runner-up on the Top Marketers List, turned its firepower on the problem of how to market itself at a time when eating out is not always an option. With dynamic activations and envelope-pushing collaborations, like one with rapper Travis Scott, the blue-chip brand was able to stay top of mind (and stomach).

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Lowe’s, third on the 2020 list, understood early on in the pandemic that with nationwide lockdowns, America suddenly became a country of DIYers. Lowe’s clever mix of content helped drive major gains in sales. But more importantly, it gave the brand a relevant, and relatable, feel that will likely extend beyond the pandemic.

The Marketers of the Year list also recognized the head-turning efforts of The Lincoln Project, which almost singlehandedly reinvented the political campaign ad. With unbridled irony, expressive formats (see the remixes of Trump videos) and lightning-fast turnaround times to catch the political moment, The Lincoln Project showed the best brand marketers what it means to connect with audiences on a visceral level.

E-commerce juggernaut Etsy rounded out the top five spots on the list, with rich and diverse campaigns speaking to legions of crafters and craft-lovers in a way that made each knitter, woodcarver, jewelry designer and engraver feel that they had been seen. With truly admirable, and indefatigable, marketing work fueling sales, Etsy reported revenue of $451.5 million for the quarter ended Sept. 30, a 128% increase over the year-earlier period.

Others major players in the top 10 of the list include:

6. Calm
7: e.l.f
8: Lego
9: Adobe
10: State Farm

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See this year’s list of top marketers here.