180LA Tells ‘Unfairy Tales’ for Unicef

By Erik Oster 

180LA launched an “Unfairy Tales” PSA campaign for Unicef with a two-minute spot telling the story of a seven-year-old Syrian refugee, entitled “Malak and the Boat.”

Malak narrates her own story in the ad, explaining her fears as she got in a boat with her family. Her narration is accompanied by simple animation, which illustrates her journey as cold water enters the ship and she fears it will sink. The spot concludes with the message “Some stories were never meant for children.” (Elsewhere on Unicef’s site the organization  details her full story, reassuring viewers that she and her mother were reunited with her father and sisters in Greece.) It’s an effective approach, juxtaposing a presentation reminiscent of fairy tales with a very grim reality. That the story is delivered by a real child makes it all the more effective and there’s plenty of room for 180LA to explore the approach further with future spots. The next spot, “Ivine and Pillow” is expected in March.


Client: Unicef
Film: “Malak and the Boat”
Ad Agency: 180LA
William Gelner, Chief Creative Officer
Michael Allen, Chief Executive Officer
Stephen Larkin, Chief Marketing Officer
Rafael Rizuto, Executive Creative Officer
Eduardo Marques, Executive Creative Officer
Dave Cuccinello, Creative Director
David Povill, Creative Director
Tamara Brown, Associate Account Director

Meredithe Woodward, Account Manager
Andy White, Social Media Director
Michael Allen, Account Planning Director
Natasha Wellesley, Director of Integrated Production
​Jason Lau, Art and Content Producer​
Meagan Phillips, Associate PR Director
Loretta Zolliecoffer, Director of Business Affairs
Florian Bodet, Irene Luevano, Bethlehem Herhane, Translators

Melvin Editorial
Dave Groseclose- Editor
Brian Scharwath- Post Production Manager

Animation House: House of Colors
Adhemas Batista, Designer Director
André Holzmeister, Script and Director
André Holzmeister, CGI
Adhemas Batista, André Holzmeister, Visual Direction
Edu Luke and Elisa Gatti for Hefty Audio, Sound Design & Music
Jonathan Marshall, André Holzmeister, Adhemas Batista, Character

Jonathan Marshall, Adhemas Batista, Concept Art
Jonathan Marshall, Adhemas Batista, Storyboards
Ricardo Almeida, Guilherme Neder, Animatic
Luiz Abud, Project Manager
Rodrigo Augusto, Render Wrangler

Rendering Sponsored by
RebusFarm GmbH / Reederservice

Edu Luke and Elisa Gatti for Hefty Audio, Sound Design & Music