I think it will be fascinating to see how people approach their New Year’s Resolutions this year. I bet it won’t be the standard ones - like drinking less or getting fit. 2021 Resolutions could be ‘bigger’ thoughts – such as continuing to spend more time with the family, pursuing working arrangements that strike a balance between working remotely and in the office, enjoying more time with friends we’ve come to appreciate in our social vacuums, or finally making the time to explore our home country. I think this NYE, we’ll be recalibrating to live in the moment and appreciate what we’ve got.
If that’s what 2020 has taught us, then it’s too easy to say it’s a year we’d rather forget. Sure, as the following collection of incredible images reveals, some terrible things happened, but there were also amazing and often bizarre moments that showcased the human spirit. 2020 will be remembered largely because it will be the year that steeled us like no other.
One of the more fascinating lists from any year is Google’s top trending search queries – the result of Google aggregating trillions of queries across the year. and this year’s list indicates a particularly unusual 12 months. “Election results”, “Super Tuesday”, “Trump” and “Biden” were to be expected as, of course, was “Coronavirus”. But “Dalgona coffee” (a comfort food trending on TikTok), “Banana Bread Recipes” (any guesses?), “how do I cut my own hair?” and “why were chainsaws invented?” considerably less so.
In our world – the world of branding and marketing - it’s been fascinating to see how Brand focus has become the number one concern for marketers in 2020. We’ve also seen Martech storm up the list of things that marketers need to do to be successful now and tomorrow. With an increasing number of marketing teams having to do more with less resources, there are big challenges ahead – exciting challenges that will shape the future of marketing for many organisations. The smart ones will adapt to this new horizon to capitalise on opportunity.
From all of us at MyAdbox, we hope you and your family have a wonderful festive season and a safe, prosperous New Year. Let’s charge headlong into 2021 with energy, enthusiasm and optimism.
Victoria, Australia The new year was heralded in with massive bushfires in South Eastern Australia. Thousands fled to the coast at Mallacoota, where they were shielded from the advancing firestorm by a thin line of fire trucks and readied themselves to leap into the sea at the call of the firefighters.
Westland Tai Poutini National Park, New Zealand The scale and intensity of the fires in South Eastern Australia was evident across the Tasman, with bushfire dust caramelising the snow on the Franz Josef glacier. The darkened hue limits the snow’s ability to combat the sun, accelerating the melting process.
Beijing, China A sign of things to come. A man and his dog adorn face masks as the number of deaths and new cases in China’s coronavirus outbreak rises alarmingly. Early reports suggest the severity of the outbreak is underestimated.
Wuhan, China As the coronavirus takes hold, the population of 11 million Wuhan residents were locked down from late January, rendering the city’s normally frenetic streets eerily empty during February.
Washington, USA Always the showman, Donald Trump holds high a copy of the Washington Post’s front page after being acquitted of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Cairo, Egypt With a city curfew imminent to contain the spread of the virus, every available spot on local trains is taken as residents flee to their homes.
Yunmeng, China As new infections drop in China but climb around the globe, workers spray disinfectant on a road in Xiaogan city in China’s central Hubei province,
As the pandemic sweeps the planet, Swiss artist Gerry Hofstetter projects a message of hope to the world onto Zermatt’s Matterhorn mountain.
Washington DC, USA A clearly bemused Dr Anthony Fauci, US Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, lets his body language speak volumes following a press briefing on Covid-19. After the November election, Fauci described working with the administration as “very stressful.”
Marston Moretaine, England In a modest quest to complete 100 laps of his back garden to raise £1,000 for the NHS, Capt Tom Moore captured the imagination of the world. The British army veteran is pictured here completing the 100th lap - at the end of which, he had raised a staggering £13m for the NHS.
Paris, France A scene repeated in cities around the world – local residents in lockdown join to show their deep appreciation of healthcare workers in the front line fight against the virus.
Westminster, London A simple message of support for Boris Johnson is pasted onto Winston Churchill’s statue. Johnson had been moved to ICU as the virus’ grip on his body worsened. After losing nearly 6kg while in hospital, Johnson recovered and returned to work in late April.
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil A face mask is projected onto the city’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue with a simple message “Masks save” featured beneath in Portuguese.
Minnesota, USA A crowd gathers around a burning construction site near Minneapolis Police department’s 3rd Precinct as the Black Lives Matter protests continue to escalate.
Dublin, Ireland Crosses are fixed to the exterior of Balally Parish Church – each represents a coronavirus death in the country.
Houston, USA LaTonya Floyd (third from left) takes her place in a protest over the death of her brother, George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police – an event that lit a tinderbox of emotions throughout the US and the world.
The geometry of the pandemic as seen from the sky - carpark queueing with customers observing social distancing outside Ikea as Britain opens up after its ‘first wave’ of the pandemic.
New York, USA Looters burst from a tobacco shop escaping through shattered windows during George Floyd protests in the city.
Louisville, USA In an act of conciliation, a police officer takes a knee to speak to Black Lives Matter protesters. Applause spontaneously broke out as the crowd realised the importance of the moment.
Wuhan, China With the world in a state of lockdown madness, the notion of crowded night markets in Wuhan, epicentre of the pandemic was hard to comprehend. Its 76 day hard lockdown which began in January prefigured what the rest of the world would soon experience.
Winters, USA A deer flees madly away from flames as the Quail Firestorm burns out of control in California. Nearly a million acres has burned with over a hundred separate fires active.
Toronto, Canada As protesters gather outside the US consulate during a Black Lives Matter rally, Police officers take a knee to show their support.
Indonesia A controversial image that has been criticised for being opportunistic. Nonetheless, it’s a powerful portrayal of the practicalities of keeping the virus at bay in third world hospitals.
100 year old British veteran, Tom Moore, receives a knighthood from the Queen after raising more than 33 million pounds for the NHS for walking 100 laps of his garden. “If I kneel down, I’ll never get up again,” he joked.
Melbourne, Australia Workers prepare to distribute food to residents of a public housing tower in North Melbourne following the virus’ escape from a Hotel Quarantine location in the city. Melbourne’s second wave rose sharply, but was curtailed over many months of one of the world’s toughest lockdowns. The city has since demonstrated almost a month of ‘double donuts’ – no new cases and no deaths, as it cautiously creeps toward a potential eradication of the virus.
Wembley Stadium, UK
Players celebrate in front of eery empty stands as Arsenal beat Manchester City in the FA Cup semi-final.
Mecca, Saudi Arabia A tale of two different times. Top: Muslim pilgrims walking around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine, at the centre of the Grand Mosque at the start of the Hajj pilgrimage in pandemic times. Bottom: The same day precisely 12 months before.
Beirut, Lebanon A massive blast – one of the biggest non-nuclear explosion ever - rocks central Beirut, ripping through the city. The cause of the blast was a large volume of ammonium nitrate stored at the city’s port for many years. Over two hundred people lost their lives in the explosion and subsequent building collapses.
Lake Berryessa, California, USA Mobile homes burn as a ferocious wildfire rages through California. The cause of the fires is believed to be ‘dry lightning’, sparking dozens of outbreaks north of San Fransisco.
Klettsvik Bay, Finland Two beluga whales, who entertained visitors in a Shanghai aquarium for seven years, have been returned to the ocean - an 8 acre Icelandic sanctuary. After ‘beefing’ up with blubber in preparation to handle the cold water, Little White and Little Grey, two 13-year-old females, were flown to Iceland's Klettsvik Bay in the Westman Islands, in special containers. Their release from the aquarium was secured when the operation changed hands and the new owners had a policy of not keeping whales or dolphins in captivity.
Melk, Austria Josef Koeberl breaks his own record for standing in ice by nearly half an hour. A matter of mind over body, he secured the record of achieving the longest full body contact with ice, dealing with the cold for 2 hrs 30 minutes and 57 seconds.
Juniper Hills, California, USA With the ‘Bobcat’ fire in full flight and the US West Coast in a severe heatwave, a tanker swoops low to drop fire retardant. Wildfires have devastated a record number of acres in California this year, with Los Angeles County reporting its highest ever temperature of 49.4C (121F) on 6 September.
Washington, USA After returning from Walter Reed Medical Center – and arguably still contagious after contracting COVID-19, President Donald Trump takes off his protective face mask to pose on the Truman Balcony of the White House. “Don’t be afraid of it,” he claimed. “You’ll beat it.” At the time, more than 200,000 Americans had died from the disease.
Spijkenisse, Netherlands An inner city train rests precariously on an art installation after crashing through a barrier at the end of the tracks. The whale sculpture saved the train from plummeting 10m into water below. Luckily, no passengers were on board and a rescue operation with two cranes eventually freed the driver, who walked away uninjured.
In extraordinary scenes, Donald Trump emerges to greet supporters and claim victory in the US Presidential election. Millions of legitimate ballots were yet to be counted, and as they came in, the tide turned to Biden. Several US news networks decided to cut away from the 16-minute speech, with numerous Republicans condemning the content.
An exhausted, PPE clad health worker lays down to rest at a public health centre in West Java. Cases continue to climb in the nation, with over 6,000 new infections a day in late November.
Mexico City, Mexico
During a protest against gender-based violence in Mexico, a riot police officer has her visor painted red by a member of the feminist collective. On average, around 10 women are murdered in Mexico each day, prompting action by an increasingly outspoken feminist movement over the failure of successive governments in stemming the violence.
Demonstrators use inflatable rubber ducks as shields to protect them from water cannons during an anti-government protest outside the city’s parliament. Criticism of the monarchy is a crime fiercely enforced – it is a measure of the population’s frustration that they dare to protest.
Thornton Heath, England
The world watches closely in anticipation as the first doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine arrive at Croydon University Hospital in the UK. The immunization program will be the most complex vaccination program in the country’s history with around 800,000 doses arriving in super-cold containers. The speed of the development of the COVID-19 vaccine is astonishing given that the previous fastest vaccine ever produced was for Mumps – which was achieved in just 4 years. Some early adverse reactions to the UK vaccination program aside, countries around the world are lining up to be next.
2020 will be sent off with an almighty sigh as the clock counts down to midnight on New Year’s Eve.