Canal+ Captures That Feeling When a TV Finale Is a Dud in Hilariously Relatable Ad

French broadcaster speaks to fans who are personally affronted by a show's ending

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Anyone who’s become immersed in a TV series will know the bitter taste of a lackluster ending. After so much time binging episodes and getting to know the characters, the choice of a distant showrunner can feel personal.

French broadcaster Canal+ brings this sentiment to life in an epic tale about a couple who becomes obsessed with a fantasy TV show. The fictional series is called The Secret of Wakany, but it is reminiscent of Star Wars, Black Panther and Game of Thrones—a show notorious for an ending that disappointed many of its fans.

From super fans to super crushed

In the Canal+ ad, a young man and woman start watching The Secret of Wakany on a whim while relaxing at home one evening. But the show soon consumes their lives. From watching it on their phones while riding the subway, they progress to staying up all night to binge episodes, turning their home into a museum dedicated to Wakany, dressing their baby in a bib with the show’s branding, getting tattoos of the fantasy world’s symbol and even learning the cryptic language of the characters. They eat, sleep and breathe Wakany over the course of an entire decade.

Ten years after that first episode, the popular show’s finale is a nationally anticipated event. But the ending turns out to be a huge letdown as it reveals that the entire story was just a dream. The passionate couple is so outraged that the man smashes some of their Wakany memorabilia.

(Captions for the video have not been made available to Adweek. We will update the video once captions have been provided.)BETC Paris, Canal+

Acknowledging the significant role that TV can play in viewers’ lives, the spot ends with the line: “It’s never just entertainment.”

Agency BETC Paris created the ad, and Antoine Bardou-Jacquet directed it through production company Partizan.

“The brand wanted once again to express their strong commitment to quality of storytelling, this time going for the world of TV shows as series are getting an increasingly bigger place in our lives. We sold them on this simple insight: Given the time that we spend watching series, it would be an absolute shame to end up being disappointed,” BETC Paris copywriter Martin Rocaboy told Adweek. “To find the disappointing end, we went for the ‘it was a dream all along’ trope that is known in writers’ rooms as the one plot device to absolutely avoid. Any resemblance with existing series is absolutely coincidental, of course.”


Brand: CANAL+ 
Brand managers: Emilie Pietrini, Celine Pontygayot, Camille Henault 
Ad agency: BETC Paris 
Agency managers: Bertille Toledano, Mathilde Lancon, Tenee Diouf 
Chief creative officer: Stephane Xiberras 
Art director: Eric Astorgue 
Copywriter: Martin Rocaboy 
Assistant art director: Anouk Bossois 
Strategic planners: Sebastien Houdusse, Mia Assor 
Traffic manager: Elodie Diana 
Head of TV production: Karim Naceur
Production company: Partizan 
Director: Antoine Bardou-Jacquet
DOP: Mattias Rudh
Executive producer: Khalid Tahhar
Line producer: Isabelle Labeylie
1st AD: Didier Mallet 
Set designer: Jonathan Houlding
Stylist/wardrobe: Elise Bouquet, Reem Kuzayli 
Hairstylist: Charlotte Arguillere
Post-production : Royal-Post
VFX: Digital District 
Editor: Manuel Coutant
Grading: Mathieu Caplanne
Post producer: Sébastien Voisin
Sound: GUM
Executive production Thailand: TA Prod


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