2014: Our favorite creative from around the world

This is the fourth installment of Digiday’s series that highlights interesting, creative, funny or otherwise notable digital projects from around the globe, and the last one this year. While these lists are by no means meant to be comprehensive, it is our intent to shine a light on the rest of the world’s current best. Please send me tips.

As the year draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to take a look at the year that went by — with a glance at some of the most innovative creative campaigns from around the world. From KLM’s effort to go all out and serve its customers to Air New Zealand’s hobbit-inspired safety instructional video, here are the campaigns from around the world in 2014 that you should not have missed:

DDB, Tribal Worldwide Amsterdam and KLM’s “Happy to Help”

It may be a cliché that the customer is king, but KLM took the extremely literally this year. For five days in October, KLM set aside a custom-designed glass pavilion at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport just to respond to travelers’ needs in real time — including passengers on other airlines — by monitoring Twitter for cries for help. The pavilion acted as the “control hub” for the campaign, housing teams of 30 specialists working round the clock to help travelers facing problems anywhere in the word, no matter what airline: one passenger stuck in New York traffic was ferried to the airport on a speed boat across the Hudson River in New York, another family with a baby on an extended layover was provided a bedroom complete with toys. A video summarizing the campaign has received over 3.5 million views since it was released on Nov. 24.

Air New Zealand’s “Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made”

If you’re trying to grab the attention of millennials, it helps to speak “epic.” Riding on the coattails of “The Hobbit” trilogy’s popularity, Air New Zealand released a new instructional safety in-flight video. Called the “Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made,” the video stars Air New Zealand flight attendants and features cameos of the film’s cast, including Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson, as they go over safety protocol and they frolic around Middle Earth. The video has racked in more than 13.3 million views on YouTube since Oct. 22, and the hashtag #airnzhobbit has been mentioned over 1,100 times, according to Topsy.

Adam&eveDDB London and John Lewis’ “Monty the Penguin”

The holiday ads came early this year, and the bar was set pretty high by this John Lewis and adam&eveDDB collaboration. The heartwarming ad tells the story of Sam and his lonely pet toy penguin, Monty. The perfect combination of mushy sentiment, a cute kid, a fluffy penguin and soft festive music, the video has received over 20.5 million views on YouTube since being posted on Nov. 6.

Thai Life Insurance and Ogilvy & Mather Bangkok’s “Unsung Hero”

We dedicated an entire list to tear-jerking Thai commercials this year, but this one still stands out. It features an anonymous Good Samaritan as he goes through his day doing good deeds — giving water to a neglected plant, a helping hand to a woman and money to a child in need — and expecting nothing in return. The emotional appeal of this one made it skyrocket in terms of views, with 23.2 million views on YouTube. You’ll want to grab a tissue before you watch this, though.

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