Refugee Olympians, UEFA EURO 2024 and More Campaign Highlights

Our weekly roundup of the ad scene in Europe

Eurovisions is back! We hope you missed us.

Our European ad of the week comes from France's Aides, known for its beautiful, often provocative HIV awareness appeals. "Fighting HIV for 40 Years," by fledgling agency Strike, is no exception. It's a prettily-lit montage of people with HIV observing, with touching solitude, the banal ravages of time on their bodies. "Aging isn't always easy. Yet we couldn't wish for anything more beautiful," the ad concludes, before a drag queen blows the candles out on her birthday cake. We're not crying! You are.

"Fill the fridges with drinks and the hearts with hope." That's a statement we can get behind. This rallying cry hails from Bitburger's ahead of the UEFA EURO 2024 competition. Titled "Bitte: Let's Celebrate What Brings Us Together," and created by Serviceplan Hamburg, it features fans throughout the country and reminds us that nobody adores soccer quite like Germans. (Perhaps for good reason. English striker and broadcaster Gary Lineker famously called it a simple game: "You need eight people, and the Germans always win.")

Children go missing every day. In Belgium, Liam Vanden Branden vanished in 1996. This remains an open case, and his father still holds hope that his child will be found. But searches have grown sparse. Child Focus worked with VML Belgium to re-up the quest: They helped Liam's father get his son's name legally changed to Thibaut Courtois—a famous Belgian goalkeeper who racks up a whopping 450,000 queries per month. Now, searches for the soccer legend also feature missing persons information about the child formerly known as Liam. (The agency also did this for a girl called Juliette Goormann, who went missing in 2022. Her name is now Nafi Thiam, shared by an Olympic heptathlon champion.)

We love when advertising uses left-of-center creativity to do good in the world. For nonprofit Laut Gegen Nazis (Noise Against Nazis), Jung von Matt Berlin addressed an insidious problem: Lots of online stores sell Reich-themed merchandise, which can profit extremists. To flip the script, the agency started trademarking right-wing codes, such as "Enness" (phonetic spelling for "NS," or "National Socialism"), so they can't be freely used any longer, impeding the sale of hateful paraphernalia.

We'll wrap with something timely, given world events and the upcoming Paris Olympic Games. Alongside Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, Nike is introducing the IOC Refugee Olympic Team with "Watch Where We're Going." The subtext, of course, is that we can never know where we're headed until we reckon with where we've been.

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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