WHAT: A water safety PSA from Les Sauveteurs en Mer (France’s National Maritime Rescue Organization) called “The Mermaid.”
WHO: French agency Publicis Conseil and production company Wizz, for the National Maritime Rescue Organization.
WHY WE CARE: The spot is a neat piece of 3D animation with the sort of whimsical bent we see often–a lonely mermaid, hanging out in her shipwreck home, spies a man falling into the water and rescues him, and the two fall in love under the sea. There’s a fantastical element that begs us not to ask questions like “How is that dude breathing underwater?” and instead enjoy the ride as we attempt to figure out exactly what this spot is meant to be advertising. Then, when it gets to the end, we get the twist: all of that is taking place in the mermaid’s fantasy, and she’s actually a sharp-fanged monster trying to pull the guy down for some nefarious purpose–and she’d have succeeded, but for his life jacket, which refuses to let him drag under and instead keeps him afloat and alive. The spot ends with the man swimming to his boat over the words “Save your life, wear a life jacket.” Mermaids may not be the biggest threat in the open sea, but that is nonetheless good advice–albeit advice communicated in the weirdest possible way.
See the making of below.