Hot Cross Buns, Stolen Jewels and Tourist Bouncers—Oh, My!

Our weekly roundup of the ad scene in Europe

Welcome to this week's Eurovisions. We have a confession: There aren't any hot cross buns in here, just cinnamon rolls. But they're also kinda pretending to be something they're not. In Åkestam Holst's work for Swedish convenience store Pressbyrån, cinnamon buns (or "kanelbulle" in Swedish) are punted like luxury perfume. "Needless to say, we are not that good at French," says the agency's Henrik Billing.

Fun facts: Cinnamon rolls are Sweden's fave pastry. They even have their own special day. Apparently much of the collateral for this work's been stolen throughout major cities. Is it the weird French? The love of cinnamon rolls? The sparkly lady? We'll never know, but the brand and agency call it "equally confusing and flattering."

Last kiss goodbye from Paris Fashion Week: Christian Dior accompanies actress Souheila Yacoub ahead of her red carpet appearance for the Venice International Film Festival. She's wearing a princessy but punk dress by the fashion house's Maria Grazia Chiuri. This is mostly an indulgent view of Venice’s historic canals, which have become slightly less accessible.

Self-effacing, or self-defacing? Ikea Norway's "Life is Not a Catalog" spent the past month making waves in its home country, and is doing victory laps through English-speaking ad publications. The work depicts aesthetic homescapes sullied by pee, vomit and parties. (Kinda feels like a documentary.) A nice reminder that Ikea products are backdrops and supports for life, which takes precedence. Ikea's spent years honing that message. Below is "Puke."

Netflix France and agency Jellyfish promote the return of Lupin, a series about a gentleman burglar, with out-of-home ads that look like luxury jewelry promotions. Except all the jewelry is missing.

Meta tapped BETC Paris to create an ad for the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France. "Passion Is Meant to Be Shared" leverages cartoony social network representations of every country, like a wallaby for Australia and a shamrock for Ireland. France's is a rooster, which you'll see plenty of in this work. 

More from BETC Paris: For a client called Morning, which rethinks corporate spaces with collaboration at the center, the agency revisited stock imagery of offices.

To plug Icelandair's stopover offering—where people can book stops in Iceland between European and North American destinations—agencies Kubbco and Hvíta Húsið conceived "The Polite Tourist Bouncer." The premise is that the stopover thing is so popular that people aren't catching their connecting flights, so a bouncer is needed. Imagine if ICE were just one guy and a cute dog, and all those naughty "overstayers" weren't treated like potential illegal immigrants, and Europe weren't in the middle of a migrant crisis. Fun! Absolutely no notes.

With help from VCCP London, Domino's revels in tearing loved ones apart. Sidenote: Apparently pizza boxes are awful? We are not experts on this topic.

BBH London supersized women for the new season of Barclay's Women's Super League. 

Responding to EU scrutiny around data gathering and sales (which is becoming an existential issue), Meta's proposed charging EU citizens something like $17 a month for Facebook and Instagram experiences that don't sell data. That's pricier than your average OTT, and doesn't even include linked accounts. (Of note: EU residents never even got access to the short-lived Threads because it failed to comply with data protection laws, indicating policymakers are increasingly confident that unfettered access to social networks is less important to people than once believed. Many EU countries have banned Google Analytics, unthinkable a handful of years ago.)

We'll wrap with something weird, in the spirit of everything being weird now. Prettybird's Sophie Muller recently directed the music video for "Mosquito" by PinkPantheress. It's opulent and pretty, an escapist story about girlfriends going no-holds-barred shopping in London. Commercial catnip, very Gossip Girl, lots of brand-dropping. Amidst it all, PinkPantheress persists in carrying what appears to be a clay pigeon. (A Nikola Tesla reference? Probably not.)

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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