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Watch Nine of The Most Interesting Cannes Commercials From Outside the U.S.

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NEW YORK ( -- Along with the other purposes it serves, the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival offers a valuable window on the best and most interesting work produced in cultures beyond the U.S. Below, from nine other countries, are some of the most memorable TV commercials in contention for potential honors at Cannes this year.
United Kingdom
Marketer: HSBC Financial
Brand: HSBC Financial
Title: "Eel"
Agency: Lowe, London
Making its point that businesses should "never underestimate the importance of local information," HSBC bank shows us a British executive in China who inadvertently signals to his hosts to keep bringing him more eel to eat, even though he loathes it.

Marketer: Xue Li Ci Soft Candy
Brand: Xue Li Ci Soft Candy
Title: "Office," "Street"
Agency: Grey Worldwide, Guangzhou
Slapstick comedy of a ridiculous but hilarious sort, this spot from China effectively speaks its message about the joy of soft candy to viewers from all cultures.

Marketer: Isenbeck
Brand: Isenbeck Beer
Title: "Ballet"
Agency: Agulla & Baccetti, Buenos Aires
Demonstrating the intelligence and cunning of those who drink Insenbeck beer, a young bar rat confounds his friends with a sudden enthusiasm for practicing ballet. But then the friends peek into the dance studio to witness the potential of a room full of scantily clad female dance students given to extreme stretching exercises.

Marketer: Fiat
Brand: Fiat Palio
Title: "Prisoner"
Agency: Leo Burnett, Sao Paulo
After years of hard time, a gristled Brazilian con is released from prison to encounter a Fiat Palio just a short distance down the road. He can't resist the temptations of the new model and, so, breaks into it to drive it away.

Marketer: Amino-Skiki Drink
Brand: Brand
Title: "Girl, Picnic, Pyramid"
Agency: Dentsu, Tokyo
A Japanese diet drink offers the advantage of losing weight without having to do the sort of heroic exercises this spot depicts.

Marketer: Libero
Brand: Libero
Title: "Time For a Wee"
Agency: Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg
This commercial suggests it is normal for Swedish families to pull off the road and urinate in the woods, even when it's pouring rain. Another point it makes is that the infant who was left behind in the car remains dry because he is wearing the appropriate disposable diapers.

Marketer: Reynolds Pens
Brand: Reynolds Pens
Title: "Milk 1"
Agency: BBDO, Bangkok
A surly husband and frustrated wife express their mutual hostilities with a tin of canned milk and a Reynolds pen. The pen is so sturdy it will pierce metal and keep on writing.

Marketer: BMW
Brand: BMW
Title: "Crossroads"
Agency: SCPF, Barcelona
A moving work of abstract art, this footage of passing roadway is so distorted and hyper-paced as to almost induce the kind of nausea one often experiences in those 360-degree projection theaters.

Marketer: Olympus
Brand: Olympus
Title: "Lion"
Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney
Simple but funny, this Australian Olympus ad underscores the power of telephoto lenses on the company's latest digital camera models. On a safari in Africa, a tourist is so spooked by the close-up look of a lion he sees through the camera lens that he starts to scream and lurch backward in fear. But the lion is a football field away.

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