The 40 Best European Coronavirus Ads

Creative advertising across the continent

Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

All around the world today, there is a proverbial “Elephant in the Room” when it comes to advertising that, quite ironically, is literally microscopic in size. That microbe, of course, is the coronavirus.

As everyone knows by now, the COVID-19 pandemic has been one of the most powerful events to ever wreak havoc not just in one area, one region, or even one country, but all over the globe. The coronavirus has taken a terrible human toll in terms of suffering and death.

It has disrupted supply chains, jolted employment markets, and tanked economies. It has caused changes to basic patterns of human interaction, in commerce, in transportation, and in retail all over the world.

And the truly sad part is that it is by no means “over,” as the virus promises to be “around” and a force exerting worry and actual misery until truly effective treatments and/or a vaccine are found.

And yet, against that backdrop, life — and advertising — goes on. And so, marketing executives at companies of all sizes have to face a difficult question: should you market as if there wasn’t really a pandemic going on, or should you try and tailor advertising that addresses the “elephant in the room?” More and more, we see companies taking on the challenge of doing the latter and “going there” — and for the most part, they are doing it very, very well!

The European Coronavirus Ads

Ads of the World, a part of the Clio Network established by the Clio Awards for the advertising community, has created a repository for video ads created by companies, governments, nonprofits, and more in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Their collection “showcases the work agencies and brands created around the subject of the COVID-19 global pandemic.” In a previous article for Better Marketing (“The 37 Best American Coronavirus Ads”), we reviewed ads from advertisers in the U.S. consumer market.

Here, we are showcasing a selection of the top ads created by companies from across Europe, 40 in all, submitted as of May 2020 to the Clio Network collection. Ads in the Clio Network collection to date have come from the following European countries:

  • Belgium.
  • Croatia.
  • Finland.
  • France.
  • Germany.
  • Ireland.
  • Italy.
  • Netherlands.
  • Norway.
  • Portugal.
  • Romania.
  • Spain.
  • Sweden.
  • Ukraine.
  • United Kingdom.

Most of all, sit back and enjoy this collection of ads. Maybe, just maybe, viewing these ads will inspire you and your company, wherever you are and whatever you do, to be better able to address “marketing in the time of corona.”

Finally, at the end of the article, I encourage you to comment on the ads you have viewed. What was the “best” ad from your perspective? What was the most effective/powerful/emotional of the ads? Want to provide your opinions/praise/criticism on specific ads?

Please take a few minutes to provide your feedback in the comment, as I will be continuing to look at advertising in the context of the current pandemic for some time— and yes, hopefully after the pandemic has ended.

So without further ado, here is a look at the 40 best ads addressing the coronavirus pandemic thus far from across Europe, presented simply in alphabetical order.

Adidas

Ad Title: Ready for Sport

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: While the world waits… let’s remember, now is the time to keep moving, to pull together, to share skills, positivity and hope. We are the #hometeam. We will get through this together, and when that time comes, we will be ready. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rwk5PdpTxSU)

Airthings

Ad Title: The World is Getting a Breather

Country of Origin: Norway

Video Notes: “The world is finally getting a breather, but the indoor air quality is deteriorating — as we’ve all gone inside.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLrgLWrNJ4E)

Alima Pure

Ad Title: Oxygen for Africa

Country of Origin: France

Video Notes: “The coronavirus has arrived in Africa: its spread on the continent is inevitable and the mortality rate is likely to be three times higher here. ALIMA doctors are taking action. As health systems are more fragile, equipment and staff are insufficient, the NGO fears a mortality rate linked to COVID-19, three to five times higher than in the rest of the world. It’s just a matter of days before the virus spreads further on the African continent. The video is broadcasted on the social networks of the NGO and a dedicated website has been designed for the donations: oxygenforafrica.org” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPI-_Tj0x2c)

BBC

Ad Title: Bringing Us Closer

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes:#BBC Bringing us closer: A message from all of us, to all of you. Together we’ll get through.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNuWNki1Uik)

Barilla

Ad Title: #ResilientItaly

Country of Origin: Italy

Video Notes: “The Barilla Group continues to be by Italy’s side: following donations to support the emergency, the company also wanted to express its closeness and gratitude to #italiacheresiste (#resilientitaly), through an emotional video that is on air on the main national TV stations from Sunday, April 5th. It is a special message of sincere gratitude, on behalf of the company, to all those who are contributing to keeping the country going in a time of difficulty.

“The video message, created in collaboration with the agency Publicis Italia, intertwines the musical notes of Vangelis, rearranged for the orchestra — one of the most famous and beloved songs related to Barilla — with images of places from our beautiful land, that remind us of who we are and why it is worth resisting. Barilla has donated a total of over two million euros to the Maggiore Hospital of Parma, the Civil Protection, and the Parma Red Cross. The most important donation concerns the Maggiore Hospital of Parma and will allow a significant improvement of the equipment and functionality of the Intensive Care Unit in dealing with the current health emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19.

“The second contribution from the Alimenta Foundation, established by Barilla in 2009, will specifically assist the Civil Protection and the Parma Red Cross and relates to a series of medical devices and logistical equipment necessary to face this particularly critical moment that the territories of Parma and Cremona are experiencing.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NSDIs_8vG9c)

Blanche Filmes

Ad Title: Andrà Tutto Bene (Everything will be alright!)

Country of Origin: Portugal

Video Notes: “‘One day we’ll remember the hardest of times when distance meant love, and it kept us alive.’” We are living scary times. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic ‘Andrà Tutto Bene’ is a message of hope and courage for everyone around the globe. To the doctors, nurses, those who are out there fighting for us, and to those that stay home protecting their loved ones. Composed and performed by Cristóvam and with a video concept created and directed by Pedro Varela.” (Source: https://vimeo.com/400902701)

Cadbury

Ad Title: This Doesn’t Need to End

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: “Lockdown has changed us. Behind every wall of every home, there are wonderful stories of kindness and generosity. And this thoughtfulness doesn’t need to end when lockdown ends. Cadbury.co.uk/covid-19” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kU9bENZ_0Uc)

Channel 4

Ad Title: Important Safety Announcement for Your Arse

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: “This is an important public safety announcement, for your arse. If you have buttocks, put them on the sofa. The longer they stay there, the quicker we’ll get through this. #StayAtHome” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_35NA5d49I)

Commercials Producers Ireland

Ad Title: Closer Together

Country of Origin: Ireland

Video Notes: “Gathers some of the greatest talents in the Irish TV Commercials industry to inspire hope.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cCN6ptsQr_U)

Curry’s PC World

Ad Title: Life Without Tech

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cm5vFlT3K28)

Flight Centre (UK)

Ad Title: Open Up the World

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: “Each day brings a new mix of emotions right now as we wait for our lives to get back to normal. When they do, we’ll be on hand, once again, ‘To open up the world for those who want to see.’ While we stay home and keep safe, this is the time to seek inspiration, to dream, to plan. For now, we’re here with a little reminder that nothing compares to being there …” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9q5kFJ46YY)

Fortum

Ad Title: Handle with Care

Country of Origin: Finland

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fuTMAoli0g)

The Future Collective

Ad Title: Strength in the Collective

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://vimeo.com/406504282)

Iveco

Ad Title: Unstoppables

Country of Origin: Italy

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jxk6ohidsYo)

Karlovacko

Ad Title: Stay In Your Crate

Country of Origin: Croatia

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEl5IlU2uzU)

Kayzer Ballet

Ad Title: The VIRUS — Dance Film

Country of Origin: Portugal

Video Notes: “The VIRUS — Dance film (COVID-19) (Portuguese subtitles) (Legendado em Português); Directed by: Ricardo Runa; Artist: Julia Runa; Text by: Maria Fael; Voiceover by: Ricardo Runa.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8pij4KEQXY)

Koronaoke

Ad Title: Koronaoke

Country of Origin: Germany

Video Notes: “Celebrating 40 days of Quarantine with classic hits adapted for pandemic times. Press play and run out of toilet roll with Joan Jett.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSGMThMFIbg&feature=youtu.be)

Kyivstar

Ad Title: #SimplyStayHome

Country of Origin: Ukraine

Video Notes: “What to do on quarantine? #SimplyStayHome, and we’ll make sure you’re always in touch in new #ServiceplanUkraine commercials for #Kyivstar.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xi4C1ouWsrQ)

Land Rover

Ad Title: To Those Who Go Above and Beyond

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: “On World Land Rover Day we celebrate going above and beyond. Today we celebrate the heroes going out, above and beyond to save lives while we stay home. #WorldLandRoverDay” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VB8otmWcRaQ)

Lidl

Ad Title: Truck

Country of Origin: Portugal

Video Notes: “Four deserted cities in Portugal during the quarantine period … and a ‘LIDL’ truck passes by. Always there for their clients. Here for you. More for you.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M31PEWodsmI)

Lobby Film and Advertising

Ad Title: It’s Victor’s Fault

Country of Origin: Portugal

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXERLhNxCBw)

McCann Lisbon (Publicidade Design Agência)

Ad Title: We Cann

Country of Origin: Portugal

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H833LD2n2IQ)

Maltesers

Ad Title: Isolation Life

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: “We’ll get through this. #stayhome” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrI3EpcyuGI)

Orange (France)

Ad Title: #OnResteEnsemble

Country of Origin: France

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXMDW1vgq1Q) )

Penny: Two Ads

1. Ad Title: #Homefirst

Country of Origin: Germany

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDCaCUrK78U)

2. Ad Title: Heroes of the Neighbourhood

Country of Origin: Germany

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCzoqUVXlvY)

Quaker (United Kingdom)

Ad Title: Stay Home. Go Forridge.

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: “When we all need to stay in — how does breakfast stay interesting? Easy. Start with Quaker Oats. Then just add — anything. Go to quaker.co.uk for more than 200 delicious recipes and a whole lot of #oatspiration #GoForridge.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UsX4WaNqCxE)

ROM

Ad Title: Together All Over the World

Country of Origin: Romania

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk_wj74Jb94)

RTVE (Spanish Public Broadcast Television)

Ad Title: Claps

Country of Origin: Spain

Video Notes: “We want to give you that applause back. The applause is also for you, who are staying at home. Together, we will defeat coronavirus. Awareness campaign for the Spanish Public Broadcast (RTVE) against COVID-19.” (Source: https://vimeo.com/405740730)

Taurus

Ad Title: Homemade Video

Country of Origin: Spain

Video Notes: “We have created this video, totally homemade, made with plenty of happy moments that Taurus workers have recorded during our vacations or our free time before confinement. With this video, we want to tell you that we are just like you. We are also in our homes, and we want to encourage you and convey that this will also pass and everything will be back to the normal way.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGcumPKBp-s)

Telenor

Ad Title: A Small Greeting

Country of Origin: Sweden

Video Notes: “For more information regarding the initiative, visit https://www.telenor.se/wifi-namn” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYqwp5JK4S0)

Telia

Ad Title: We Rise #together

Country of Origin: Finland

Video Notes: “Small entrepreneurs are afflicted by these difficult times. Our aim is to help as many of them as possible. That is why we gave our ads for their use. Together, we can help hundreds of businesses. Learn more: telia.fi/yhdessa, Kakola Brewing https://kakolabrewing.com/meista/, Faskiaco https://faskiaco.fi/, Holstinmäen Autohuolto www.holstinmaenautohuolto.com, Finnish Guitar Works http://www.flyingfinnguitars.fi/, Aroma https://aroma.fi/, Lanko Oy https://www.lanko.fi/, Kukkakauppa Ruusupuu, https://minnanruusupuu.fi/, Merinolla https://merinolla.com/, Cavallino https://www.cavallinocatering.fi/ , Fillaripiste https://fillaripiste.fi #yhdessä” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gl6LoBNCOmQ)

Tourism Ireland

Ad Title: I Will Return

Country of Origin: Ireland

Video Notes: “Take a moment to enjoy some poetic beauty. A little inspiration from afar is what we all need during these times. So sit back, relax, and #FillYourHeartWithIreland. #DreamNowTravelLater Discover more at https://www.ireland.com” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6Uj97nTFws)

Tous

Ad Title: Mother’s Day (Welcome to the best place on earth)

Country of Origin: Spain

Video Notes: “Thousands of women have given birth in Spain during the COVID-19 crisis and TOUS is paying a special tribute to them this Mother’s Day.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4yXtMgC_PQ)

Toyota United Kingdom

Ad Title: Heroic Medal

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvdMtVZ-cp4)

Triodos Bank

Ad Title: Reset The Economy

Country of Origin: Netherlands

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://vimeo.com/414703260)

Twitch

Ad Title: Social Distancing Tutorials on Twitch

Country of Origin: Belgium

Video Notes: “As some young people are still ignoring the government’s call to social distance, VOO telecom asked their heroes to explain it to them. These famous gamers on Twitch practiced social distancing with their characters.” (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyZ7r7bZiJ0)

Vodafone (Italy)

Ad Title: Together

Country of Origin: Italy

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOTtiov9KV8&feature=youtu.be)

Volkswagen

Ad Title: Respect

Country of Origin: Germany

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvyi4lnWrGQ)

Voxi

Ad Title: Stay Connected, Stay Endless

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Video Notes: N.A. (Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTIBjsqglAA)

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Conclusion

And so now it is your turn. I encourage you to comment below on the ads you’ve viewed. Want to rank the three, five, or ten best ads of the group? Want to add your review on what was the most effective, the most powerful, the most emotional of the ads you viewed? Want to praise or even criticize specific ads?

Please take a few minutes to provide your feedback in the comment, as I will be looking at advertising in the context of the current pandemic for some time — hopefully even after the pandemic has ended. And for your reference as you comment upon or rank the ads below, here are the companies and their ads that were included in this article, along with their country of origin:

  1. Adidas “Ready for Sport” (United Kingdom)
  2. Airthings “The World is Getting a Breather” (Norway)
  3. Alima Pure “Oxygen for Africa” (France)
  4. BBC “Bringing Us Closer” (United Kingdom)
  5. Barilla “#ResilientItaly” (Italy)
  6. Blanche Filmes “Andrà Tutto Bene (Everything will be alright!)” (Portugal)
  7. Cadbury “This Doesn’t Need to End” (United Kingdom)
  8. Channel 4 “Important Safety Announcement for Your Arse” (United Kingdom)
  9. Commercials Producers Ireland “Closer Together” (Ireland)
  10. Curry’s PC World “Life Without Tech” (United Kingdom)
  11. Flight Centre (UK) “Open Up the World” (United Kingdom)
  12. Fortum “Handle with Care” (Finland)
  13. The Future Collective “Strength in the Collective” (United Kingdom)
  14. Iveco “Unstoppables” (Italy)
  15. Karlovacko “Stay In Your Crate” (Croatia)
  16. Kayzer Ballet “The VIRUS — Dance Film” (Portugal)
  17. Koronaoke “Koronaoke” (Germany)
  18. Kyivstar “#SimplyStayHome” (Ukraine)
  19. Land Rover “To Those Who Go Above and Beyond” (United Kingdom)
  20. Lidl “Truck” (Portugal)
  21. Lobby Film and Advertising “It’s Victor’s Fault” (Portugal)
  22. McCann Lisbon (Publicidade Design Agência) “We Cann” (Portugal)
  23. Maltesers “Isolation Life” (United Kingdom)
  24. Orange (France) “#OnResteEnsemble”
  25. Penny “#Homefirst” (Germany)
  26. Penny “Heroes of the Neighbourhood” (Germany)
  27. Quaker (United Kingdom) “Stay Home. Go Forridge.”
  28. ROM “Together All Over the World” (Romania)
  29. RTVE (Spanish Public Broadcast Television) “Claps” (Spain)
  30. Taurus “Homemade Video” (Spain)
  31. Telenor “A Small Greeting” (Sweden)
  32. Telia “We Rise #together” (Finland)
  33. Tourism Ireland “I Will Return”
  34. Tous “Mother’s Day (Welcome to the best place on earth)” (Spain)
  35. Toyota United Kingdom “Heroic Medal” (United Kingdom)
  36. Triodos Bank “Reset The Economy” (Netherlands)
  37. Twitch “Social Distancing Tutorials on Twitch” (Belgium)
  38. Vodafone (Italy) “Together”
  39. Volkswagen “Respect” (Germany)
  40. Voxi “Stay Connected, Stay Endless” (United Kingdom)

Written by

David Wyld (dwyld@selu.edu) is a Professor of Strategic Management at Southeastern Louisiana University. He is a noted business consultant and writer.

Sign up for The Better Marketing Newsletter

By Better Marketing

Our map to the marketing world. An occasional newsletter highlighting the best stories, tips, and tools to become a better marketer.  Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Thanks to Niklas Göke

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store