In many ways, 2021 was as challenging as 2020, with COVID-19, natural disasters, supply chain issues, and an ever-more polarized and stressful political climate wreaking havoc. But there was also reason for optimism: important DEI initiatives helped create a more equitable society and scientists moved fast to develop life-saving vaccinations and treatments. Live music and sports returned, there were comeback albums by Taylor Swift and Adele, and Fab 4 fans got to geek out on almost eight hours of behind-the-scenes Beatles footage!
Here, in no particular order, are our 21 favorite experiences from 2021:
All in New York — the center of the world
We were thrilled to partner with NYC & Company to envision the city’s revitalization campaign (and gratified to win a Webby award for our work).
Sephora showed that inclusivity is good for business
Sephora based its important Racial Bias in Retail Report on findings from Material research initiatives, which spurred the brand to tackle racial bias in its stores and become an industry leader for DEI.
From 3% to 29%
We were proud to be a sponsor of the 10th annual 3% conference, which celebrated the progress of women creative directors while focusing on ongoing efforts to make creative industries truly equitable.
“Coming Out Day is a celebration of being the youest and truest you”
We were happy to hear from Material PRIDE members, who shared thoughts about what this day means and how to support the LGBTQ+ community year-round.
Business and community leaders brainstormed for caregivers
The Alzheimer’s Association and business leaders (including Material’s Kim Lundgren and Kiva R. Wilson) partnered to examine the complexities of a multigenerational workforce.
UPS delivered hope, hugs, and smiles
Arroz Congrí, Papel Picado, and Loteria brightened our fall
Material celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month with a Cuban cooking class and an art workshop, and played one of Latin America’s best-known games.
We binge watched hours of Beatles footage
Beatles fans enjoyed a whopping 7.8 hours of previously unseen Fab 4 footage with the documentary The Beatles: Get Back.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright shared his insights for Black History Month
Material’s Amplify Voices series presented Michael R. Jackson, the first Black musical theater writer to win the Pulitzer.
Taylor Swift and Adele released headline dominating albums
Adele’s first album in six years and the release of Red (Taylor’s Version) were a welcome break from a news cycle dominated by COVID-19, natural disasters, and political strife.
Material partnered with SurveyMonkey for a transformative rebrand of its B2B offerings, leading development of naming, strategy, design, and website launch.
We celebrated APIDA Heritage Month
The APIDA community of Asian, Pacific Islanders, and Desi Americans grew 72% between 2000 and 2019, and we celebrated their many contributions to America’s history and success.
Material kicked off its Marketing Strategy Summit with dynamic speakers
This exciting new weekly series featured Material’s Amy Balliett in conversation with marketers, brand strategists, and communications professionals.
Tough times meant marketers had to get extra innovative
Mountain Dew and Coke were among the brands who didn’t let ad production restrictions stop the flow of lighthearted and highly creative digital ads.
Brands amped up loyalty
Material helped clients work harder to retain customers (and was named a Strong Performer in the Forrester Wave Loyalty report for Q3).
We learned that brand still matters in a post-covid world
Google partnered with Material to understand how behaviors across food and beverage categories shifted and which are likely to become permanent.
We love science. And although we don’t love needles, we got vaccinated. And then double vaccinated!
We got boostered
We gladly rolled up our sleeves and got vaccinated again!
There were good tidings of great joy in the 2021 GRIT Report
We were thrilled that Material ranked #1 in GRIT’s Strategic Consultancy and Supplier Mentions categories.
We welcomed new teammates
Hundreds of new faces joined our team, including president Bill Kanarick — who brings a wealth of expertise in digital transformation and customer insight/experience.
The curtain may finally close on the pandemic
Pfizer just announced a new pill that drastically reduces hospitalization and death in COVID-19 sufferers. (Did we mention that we love science?).