10 Epica Award winning ads from 2018, you probably have not seen before

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The Epica Awards were started to ‘promote and reward the highest standards in European advertising’. Today, Epica is open to work across the globe. I love following the winners every year (see here, here and here) because the winning work tends to be those not previously showcased in popular trade portals and advertising aggregation sites. One also gets to see work in languages other than English.

This year’s categories are extensive and include interesting ones like ‘best copywriting & storytelling’, ‘topical & real-time advertising’, ‘World Cup advertising’ and ‘Creative Technology’. I will share some of the work which caught my eye across a few posts. Here is the first instalment of winners of the selection:

1. Friendshit: K Plus app

Advertising from Thailand has a great reputation for many reasons. Over the years we have seen consistently good, idea-driven, well-produced work from the country. Moreover, quirky even bizarre humour forms the basis of many ads which are also rooted in local language & culture. Here is one more to such a list: a roundabout but brilliant approach to convey the benefits of a mobile app.

Agency: GREYnJ United, Bangkok

2. Welcome Listeners: HiFi Klubben

Each advertising medium – print, outdoor, TV or web has its own unique strengths & weaknesses. One of the benefits of film or TV is that it is an audio-visual medium. But imagine a TV commercial driven by what is said that what is shown. An ad for HiFi Klubben – a range of speakers begins with some compelling words beautifully rendered:

People no longer listen. We no longer listen to one another. We’re busy with social media more now than we listen to our children. We no longer listen to our bodies when we get stressed and actually need a break.

Having hooked the viewer with such an insight the film segues easily into revealing the product. Loved it.

Agency: &Co. / NoA

3. Entrepreneur’s Journey: The Federation of Finnish Enterprises

Through out history, inventors and entrepreneurs with breakthrough ideas have been mocked by naysayers. That is the insight behind a film for The Federation of Finnish Enterprises which aims to convey that ‘when an entrepreneur succeeds, the whole society benefits’.

Agency: Make It Simple Oy

4. Shit in space: FLAX

‘Humour in advertising’ (which is rarely seen in popular ads nowadays) is a category in Epica Awards. Here is an ad for Norwegian lottery brand, Flax.

Agency: TRY

5. Le Becks: packaging

Beck’s beer aimed to overcome negative perceptions associated with beer cans and wanted to convey premium cues. The result – a packaging change. I am not sure if regular beer drinkers would like to be seen drinking from such a ‘glass’ but the approach is interesting.


Agency: SERVICEPLAN, Germany

6. Singing Knees: Deutsche Bahn

Unusual or quirky visual cues in TV spots work well to enhance memorability and so does an audio mnemonic. Here’s one which combines both to drive home the message of comfortable travel in trains, as compared to cramped airplanes.

Agency: BBDO, Berlin

7. Weather forecast: McDonald’s

An outdoor campaign which cleverly combines graphics of well-known weather symbols and cues of food which is unique to not just fast-food outlets but specifically McDonald’s. Loved the fries one which doubles up to cue rains.


Agency: Leo Burnett, London

8. The Delivery Man – PRADA

Luxury advertising has its unique code, language and tone of voice. Those who don’t get such advertising (usually those who are not the target audience for the brand as they cannot afford it) are often left wondering ‘what just happened?’ after viewing some of the work. In this series of ads for PRADA, an ultra-sophisticated delivery man does his job in challenging situations. According to the campaign site: Toying with notions of suburban unreality, and urbane sophistication, the stories unfold via three chapters, each charting a different valiant attempt by the delivery man to ensure his precious cargoes reach their final destination, despite pitfalls and obstacles along the way.

Filmmaker: Ryan Hope

9. No more empty desks: Fare x Bene Onlus

The twist in the tale is a time-tested tactic to deliver unexpected surprises – be it in stories or movies. Here is one from Italy which highlights the impact of cyber-bullying among teenagers.

Agency: DLVBBDO Milan

10. The Horse Expert: Lyntoto

‘You don’t have to be a horse expert’ to win at the races is a simple proposition delivered in a laugh-out-loud hilarious spot from Norway.

Agency: Anorak / NoA, Oslo

Which one was your favourite? Comment in.

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