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This Ad's Love Story Between a Mermaid and a Sailor Ends With Quite a Lovely Twist


Remember those sailor stories about mermaids who drag drowning men to their doom? In this creepy—yet charming!—little piece of work, the National Maritime Rescue Organization tells just that tale ... from the perspective of the mermaid. 

Set to the plaintive croon of Tobias Jesso's "Without You," a mermaid sulking on the balcony of a sunken ship sees a sailor drifting down toward her. This kicks off a model courtship. 

The graphics depict a magical world illuminated by jellyfish. Love blooms around the shipwreck, a foreshadowing of darkness to come. You're bound to ask yourself a few questions: How does the sailor breathe underwater? Can you really barbeque steaks below sea level? How does that mermaid get pregnant? 

One of these—well, technically all of them—will be answered in the inevitable twist. 

This is an impossible love, blocked by the stubborn buoyancy of a life jacket. The sailor can't breathe underwater, the mermaid is murderously delusional (with creepy fangs to boot!), and we never find out how she gets pregnant—a mystery which, like the barbeque question, is moot, given that she imagined it all anyway. 

Created by French agency Publicis Conseil and Wizz with about 25 graphic designers and 3-D animators, "The Mermaid" is really a creative spin on the importance of wearing life jackets at sea. 

Every year, the National Maritime Rescue Organization (SNSM) launches over 5,200 interventions off the French coast, rescuing nearly 8,000 people. But while the sea is a dangerous place filled with surprises you can't account for (like biologically misguided happily-ever-afters), saving your life is often a matter of remembering the little things—like life jackets. SNSM also hopes to raise donations, which are pretty much its sole source of funding. 

The campaign goes live in mid-November on TV, in theaters, via digital and on digital outdoor. Check out the making-of below, which goes into delightfully geeky 3-D detail.

Advertiser : SNSM – French National Maritime Rescue Organization
Régis Benazech
Caroline Serre
Publicis Conseil :
Executive Creative Directors : Fabrice Delacourt, Olivier Desmettre
Copywriter : Vincent Cusenier
Art Director : Lucie Vallotton
AD Assistant : Alexandre Perdereau
Account Managers : Valérie Hénaff, Laurent Fauroux, Valérie Albou, Christine Pumain, Lou Leproux
Film Production
TV Production (Prodigious) Pierre Marcus / Sophie Bouyer
Production Company : Wizz / François Brun
Producer : Matthieu Poirier
Directors : Flying V
Design : William Laborie / Flying V
Concept Art : Yann Boyer
3D : Fix studio
Post Producer : Christelle Prud'homme
Editing Assistant : Cecil Cahen
Coordinatrice de production : Natelene Darfeuille
Supervisor 3D : Matthieu Negrel
3D : Arnaud Joli, Bruno Le guern, Nicolas Trotignon, Alexia Schmidt, Jerome Caperan, Olivier
Osotimehin, Matthieu Bernadat, Audric Escales, Daniel Ly, Bruno Le Guern, Mathieu Negrel, Franck
Clement-Larosiere, Justine Dubreux, Benoit Grynberg, Ludovic Hoarau, Cédric Delaforest Divonne,
Jean Dalaunay
Compositing : Christophe Andrei, Benjamin Laborde, Ingmar Renouardiere
Business Affairs (Prodigious) Carlos Serrano / Alice Rolin
Sound Production : Prodigious / Boris Nicou
Sound design : James
Mix : Jean-Jacques Hubert
Musical Composition : Tobias Jesso "Without You"
Length of the film : 92''
Media Plan : TV / Cinema / Digital

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