Ikea celebrates the everyday heroes in our lives and more cool creative from Europe

This is the seventh installment of Digiday’s series highlighting interesting, creative, funny or otherwise notable digital projects from around the globe. 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.

The U.S. may have been afflicted with March Madness this month, but across the Atlantic, Europe saw a string of ingenuously lucid campaigns. They tap into collective passions like football and call attention to important issues like domestic violence.

“To resonate across borders, you need to work with common truths,” said Nicolas Roope, ecd and co-founder of agency Poke. “The things that everyone shares and can relate to, not cultural in-jokes.”

Here, then, is a look at this month’s list of cool campaigns from around the world, with a special focus on recent creative from Europe.

WCRS, Women’s Aid’s Women’s Day Billboards

The cliché is that a picture speaks a thousand words. London marketing and advertising agency WCRS took it to an all-new level this International Women’s Day, when it partnered with British photographer Rankin to create a set of powerful billboards to address domestic violence for non-profit Women’s Aid.

The billboard at London’s financial district of Canary Wharf, for instance, shows a woman’s face with bruises, cuts and a purple eye which heal themselves as people pay attention to it. This is done by employing facial recognition technology and using a camera, which prompts the billboard to change by capturing the images of passersby. If no one pays attention to it, the woman’s face remains the same. People in proximity to the billboard also received text messages via Weve — a mobile marketing venture by three U.K. phone companies — encouraging them to donate to Women’s Aid.

The campaign has not only caught people’s attention but also won an award in the Interactive category at British ad-space company Ocean’s annual Art of Outdoor competition for digital creativity in advertising.

BETC Paris and Air France’s “France is in the Air”

For some, France and French culture consistently bring to mind the words “stylish” and “classy” (for others, “snobbish” and “rude” come to mind, but we’re not talking about them). The latest campaign by Air France and agency BETC Paris seeks to evoke this positive association by paying tribute to all things French in this funny, modern and elegant Vaudeville-inspired in-flight safety video.

The company’s new theme music “Warm in the Winter” by Portland duo Glass Candy plays in the background as a bevy of chic French fashionistas don colors and designs inspired by the French tricolor flag and demonstrate various safety guidelines with finesse.

The digital spot has already gathered nearly 48,000 views since being launched on March 17 on YouTube. O là là.

Beko and McCann Istanbul’s “Beko Global Fan Wave”

There are very few things that unite people across so many nations, and soccer is one of them. Turkish consumer electronics brand Beko wants to make sure it taps into that passion and create the world’s first user-generated LED ad. Beko has hired agency McCann Istanbul to create a virtual wave that will be beamed onto giant screens during the upcoming match between arch rivals FC Barcelona and Real Madrid on March 22.

Soccer fans from around the world are invited to register and film themselves doing their own wave at home. The collective submissions will be aggregated into a massive digital wave on Camp Nou’s LED screens surrounding the field during the match. The estimated audience will clock in at 500 million people.

Since being posted on March 11, the video appeal to fans has gathered over 296,000 views on Facebook.

IKEA and Forsman & Bodenfors’ “Everyday Heroes”

Ikea and Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors’ most recent campaign honors the everyday heroes in our lives. Not teachers or neighborhood cops, mind you, but rugs and toilet brushes instead — that literally support us every step of the way.

The spot cheekily celebrates the everyday mass-produced IKEA items that thousands across the world depend on, with an over-the-top voice-over that claims, “This is for them, those who constitute the true definition of an everyday hero.” IKEA ends the video by asking viewers to follow the daily struggles of these items on a Twitter account created for the campaign, which gives voice to the “everyday heroes” of the ad.

The digital spot, launched on March 4, has gathered over 344,000 views on YouTube so far.

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