Top 10 European ads of the decade
1. Volvo Trucks Epic Split (2013)
Jean-Claude Van Damme defies the laws of physics by doing the splits between two reversing trucks. This spot by Sweden's Forsman & Bodenfors, directed by Andreas Nilsson, went super-viral—and even made people like Enya again. The spot won multiple Grand Prix at Cannes, including the Creative Effectiveness award in 2015.
2. Channel 4 Meet the Superhumans
U.K. broadcaster Channel 4's campaign for the 2012 Paralympics, directed by Tom Tagholm, celebrated the incredible abilities of Paralympian athletes in a way never seen before, inspiring other brands to do the same throughout the decade. It captured both hearts and industry accolades including a Cannes Grand Prix in Film/Craft. A follow up in 2016, We're the Superhumans, also won a Grand Prix.
3. Nike "Write the Future" (2010)
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu directed an elite cast of characters from football and entertainment in the anthem film for Nike's World Cup campaign by Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam. As well as soccer greats like Ronaldo, the ad starred the likes of Homer Simpson, Roger Federer and Kobe Bryant.
4. Libresse Blood Normal (2018)
The ad for the Scandinavian market by AMV BBDO and Somesuch's Daniel Wolfe broke the mold on period ads to help destigmatize menstruation, with imagery such as blood running down a girl's leg in the shower. It earned the Glass Lion for Change Grand Prix at Cannes.
5. Sport England This Girl Can (2015)
Sweaty, exhausted and flabby "real women" are seen enjoying sport in this energetic and engaging ad for Sport England, created by FCB Inferno and directed by Kim Gehrig at Somesuch. It won a Health Grand Prix at Cannes but more importantly, played a role in getting more U.K. women out and exercising.
6. Canal+ The Bear (2012)
BETC's TV spot directed by Matthijs van Heijningen for French broadcaster Canal+ combined comedy with stunning visuals in the story of a peculiar director named Paul Bearman.
7. Spanish Lottery Justino (2105)
The Pixar-like tale of an elderly night watchman at a mannequin factory was an online sensation and scooped a Cyber Grand Prix at Cannes. Created by Leo Burnett Madrid and animators Against All Odds, at one point it garnered over a million views in a single day.
8. Ikea "Pee" (2018)
Ikea has done some great advertising in its native Sweden this decade including its Where Life Happens series via Akestam Holst focussing on the ups and downs of real family life. Perhaps the most innovative execution is this print ad for its Sundvik crib, which contains a pregnancy test strip so that the price will drop only if you're pregnant.
9. Swedish Tourist Association: The Swedish Number. (2016)
This Cannes Direct Grand Prix-winning travel campaign by agency Ingo encouraged potential visitors to Sweden to dial a number to talk to a random Swede for more information.
10. Intermarche Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables (2014)
Ugly fruits and vegetables finally got their own chance to shine in this French supermarket campaign designed to "rehabilitate" imperfect or misshapen fresh produce and discourage wastage. It's a message that resonates even more today.