As 2020 has officially wrapped, those in the marketing industry are reflecting on the major disruptions of the past year. On the bright side, many brands saw significant growth as consumer behavior evolved with the challenges presented by the pandemic. Top brands in all the most prosperous categories of the year, including streaming, social media, food delivery, and remote working, relied on out-of-home to reach old and new audiences during pivotal moments.

As the world adapted to stay-at-home orders in 2020, companies turned to teleworking and wide swaths of the working population had to adjust to virtual coworking. Morning Consult’s #1 fastest growing brand of the year was Zoom, whose brand name became synonymous with video meetings, virtual hangs, and socially-distanced-socializing. Ranking at #8, Microsoft Teams was also a major player in this category.

Social media brands also topped the charts this year, serving as much needed socialization when in-person gatherings were no longer an option. TikTok, the third fastest growing brand of the year, utilized JCDecaux’s OOH screens both on the streets and in airports for their ad campaigns this year.

When indoor dining shut down, hungry consumers turned to takeout and delivery to support their favorite restaurants and fulfill their cravings. For many consumers looking to reduce exposure, grocery delivery services were a great way to stay quarantined. DoorDash (#5) and Amazon Fresh (#16) both took advantage of JCDecaux’s OOH networks early in the year. Strong brand awareness kept consumers coming back all year long.

Launched during the pandemic’s first wave on May 27thHBOMax soared to popularity with streamers stuck at home and was the #6th fastest growing brand of 2020. Running on our New York digital network, their pre-launch campaign in early May captured consumers’ attention. Ranking on Morning Consult’s top brands of 2020, the streaming platform saw a contribution to consumer growth from its OOH advertising. Continual campaigns on our airport and street furniture inventory resulted in greater customer awareness and significant market share in the ultracompetitive streaming category. Pluto TV, another OOH advertiser, has also done well this year, coming in at #19.

5G was a major technical advancement and popular buzzword tossed around in 2020. The 9th fastest growing brand of the year, T-Mobile, started the year off strong with a campaign at the very end of 2019 announcing the launch of their own 5G network. The fast growing brand also ran campaigns throughout the year, including an airport campaign on our Houston digital screens.

Morning Consult reports that another major trend in brand popularity was contactless payment. Helping consumers stay safe and socially distanced, many major brands implemented new or promoted already existing touch-free features. Brands like VisaApple Pay, and PayPal built awareness by utilizing street furniture placements for their contactless campaigns this year.

2020 was a big year, with many major downsides- but for a lot of savvy brands, changing consumer habits provided an opportunity to break patterns and grow in popularity. Some of the most successful companies and campaigns of the year relied on JCDecaux’s premium OOH inventory to reach key audiences. During a year when marketing was more challenging than ever, OOH remained a dependable and well-performing medium for big brands in major markets.