Marketing director (clothing and home), Marks & Spencer
M&S moved to split the advertising account between food and clothing/home last year, appointing Odd to handle fashion. The resulting festive ads, led by the colourful "Go jumpers", were cited as Ansell's highlight of the year. However, the pandemic seems to have put an end to that – M&S will not run a separate clothing spot at Christmas.
Marketing communications manager, Ikea
In a year of uncertainty, Anthony wanted to explore "how our brand platform 'The wonderful everyday' can trigger more meaningful conversations in culture". There were good ads, too, focusing on the importance of sleep: a retelling of The Tortoise and the Hare and some lovely print work gently mocking wellness products.
Chief customer officer, Tesco
Supermarkets had to move quickly to deal with extraordinary circumstances during the lockdown, and Tesco was no exception. It managed to turn around an ad in 72 hours in March to explain in-store social-distancing measures. Bellini also presided over the roll-out of the Clubcard Plus scheme last year.
Chief executive, Eve Sleep
Calverley joined Eve almost two years ago but was promoted to the very top in May. She is investing in bolstering the brand's digital capability and the focus on "sleep wellness" beyond simply mattresses.
Marketing director (food and hospitality), Marks & Spencer
Cramond was the marketer at the helm when M&S brought back the "This is not just…" strapline in 2019 for the first time in 16 years. During the coronavirus outbreak, as people did fewer shopping trips, M&S unveiled the "Remarksable" campaign to highlight its prices. Cramond's new focus will be the Ocado partnership that began in September.
Marketing director, Lidl UK
Farrant and her team had been busy during the pandemic working with other supermarkets to deal with panic-buying and supplying essentials to frontline workers. However, they refrained from turning to oft-used phrases such as "unprecendented" and "new normal". Lidl is now eyeing significant expansion amid a recession.
Customer director, Waitrose & Partners
The restructure at John Lewis Partnership at the start of the year had initially led to George being handed marketing responsibility for both John Lewis and Waitrose, but this has since changed following the arrival of Dame Sharon White. George will be turning his attention to growing Waitrose's online presence now that its partnership with Ocado has ended.
Chief marketing officer, Sainsbury's
Sainsbury's has shown that it recognises the importance of understanding customer sentiment by promoting Given to the operating board. This follows Given being handed marketing responsibility for sister brand Argos last year.
Customer director, Co-op
Jones led Co-op's mission to blend purposeful marketing with real action during the pandemic. The supermarket pulled its Easter campaign, choosing to donate airtime worth £2.5m to fight hunger, and has created work to highlight the issue of food security.
Head of brand marketing, Ocado
Having succeeded long-standing marketing chief Lawrence Hene, McDowell was at the helm during one of the biggest deals in UK business: the end of Ocado's agreement with Waitrose and its new relationship with Marks & Spencer. McDowell also appointed St Luke's to handle advertising, replacing Now.
Group brand director, Tesco
As the nation's biggest retailer, Tesco had a key part to play during the pandemic. This included regular messages to customers from (then) chief executive Dave Lewis, setting up Perspex screens in stores to protect employees and meeting the soar in demand for online delivery. It's a tough job, but McEttrick, though, merely called all this "a challenge".
UK marketing director, Aldi
Since McGinty joined Aldi, Robbie Williams came on board for the supermarket's Christmas campaign, the "Like brands" positioning was revived and Aldi became the sponsor of the new series of The Great British Bake Off – all in less than two years.
Vice-president, global creative director, Amazon
Marketing highlights of the past year include the 2019 Christmas campaign and the Super Bowl ad starring Ellen DeGeneres (among others), "What did we do before Alexa?", which is now the most-watched Super Bowl spot. Morris has been leading marketing for the past six years but the job is only getting bigger – Amazon is now the world's biggest advertiser.
Marketing director, Boots UK and Ireland
During Covid-19, Boots has truly found its raison d'être: to offer care, advice and expertise. It rolled out a campaign inspired by its own pharmacists and worked with the government and the NHS to set up drive-through testing centres.
Chief customer officer, Asda
Shaw was only five weeks into the role when lockdown occurred, but she is proud of Asda's customer response during the pandemic. Her next goal is to embed data and user insight into the supermarket's approach to better understand customers.
Marketing director Europe, Patagonia
The outdoor clothing brand, under Weller, grabbed headlines in the summer when it became one of the earliest brands to pull adspend from Facebook. He believes brands must hold the platforms they pay money to accountable.
Chief marketing officer, Specsavers
Specsavers was back in the news this year after Dominic Cummings' controversial trip to Barnard Castle led to a barrage of jokes using the brand's famous slogan. Later in the summer Specsavers gave a nod to the story when it advertised free eye tests on parking tickets in the County Durham town.