Desperados Bass Drop (Heineken) by WE ARE Pi and Edelman

It'd be an understatement to say that dance music is massive in the Dutch capital. So it’s only fitting that two agencies in Amsterdam's advertising scene – WE ARE Pi and Edelman – incorporated the genre into a campaign for Heineken’s popular tequila-flavoured beer, Desperados.

The Desperados Bass Drop campaign took things to new heights; in fact, the company gathered 70 ravers from 12 countries and took them 30,000 feet above Las Vegas for a sky-high festival in the stratosphere. It doesn’t end there: in addition to a curated soundtrack from DJ Mike Vervello and a custom light show, when the bass dropped so did the plane, suspending the ravers in zero gravity.

The video currently has over 58 million global views and counting, and it performed well-above industry benchmarks.

‘Batman’ (War Child) by RNDBT Content

You don’t need to be a crime-fighting caped crusader to be a hero. That’s the message behind charity War Child’s ‘Batman’ video, which was created by RNDBT Content. The film sees a young Syrian refugee having fun with his favourite hero, Batman. At the end of the film, Batman is revealed to be the boy’s father – all to a backdrop of legendary Queen anthem You’re My Best Friend.

“Through this impressive film, we want to show that fantasy is often the only way to escape reality for these children affected by war,” said Veronique Hoogendoorn, War Child’s director of marketing, communication and fundraising. “The work of War Child is required to help these children process their experiences. Some 250 million children worldwide are forced to grow up in the midst of war. We support hundreds of thousands of children with psychosocial support, protection and education.”

The ad has been viewed millions of times across the world and picked up a Gold Lion Award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Share #Pink (T-Mobile) by Etcetera Amsterdam

Amsterdam’s Pride celebrations are a big deal, attracting visitors from all over the globe each year. Etcetera’s Share #Pink (Deel #Rose) campaign for T-Mobile coincided with the event’s highlight, the Canal Parade. Party-goers were handed pink photo filters – analogue and digital alike – that were easily shareable online.

The social movement was massive across Dutch social media, reaching an impressive one million people overall.

What are Girls Made Of? (Nike) by Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam

This inspiring Nike ad campaign challenges outdated gender roles by putting the spotlight on some of Russia’s most impressive athletes. The video shows a young girl performing verses from a traditional Russian song with lyrics claiming girls are made of things such as “flowers” and “gossip”. Following some inspiration, the young songstress swaps the lyrics to say that girls are made of stronger stuff, like “bravery” and “independence”  

Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam's Gold Lion Award-winning video is part of a wider campaign, which also features local ads in Turkey and the Middle East.

“These campaigns are based on hyper-local strategies rooted in powerful local insights,” said Stéphane Missier, Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam’s global strategy director. “They had a significant impact in their respective markets, starting debates around women in sports.”

Healthy Air (Dutch Lung Foundation) by Havas Lemz

For this Dutch Lung Foundation campaign, Amsterdam-based agency Havas Lemz came up with a unique way to raise awareness of air pollution: an app that lets people check air quality via their smartphones. To complement this, the agency also designed an activation campaign to increase donations; people were encouraged to challenge one another to hold their breath for as long as possible, donating 10 cents for every second they could last.

The campaign was well received by media and the public, and it ended up raising €300,000 for lung research.