Why Don’t We Have Unicorns Today? This Ballsy French Ad Explains Everything

Canal+'s new take on Noah's Ark

We would still have unicorns around today were it not for an epic screw-up by Noah's son during the loading of the Ark all those years ago.

That's the premise of this amusingly overblown Canal+ ad from BETC Paris and director Matthijs Van Heijningen, who so memorably directed "The Bear" for the same agency and client in 2011.

It's hard to describe the ad without spoiling it, so just watch it first.

As you can see, the film celebrates—in a roundabout way—the broadcaster's screenwriters and its showcase of original programming. And yes, it certainly shows a different side of unicorns than we're used to seeing.

"We had some rather surreal discussions on what unicorns' balls actually look like," Stéphane Xiberras, agency president and chief creative officer, tells AdFreak. "We thought about doing something a bit … unexpected. There was talk of little furry balls with twinkling stars. But in the end we opted for a pair of 'classic' horse balls. I know, it's a bit bizarre."

And the balls were the easy part of this production. "Imagine a gigantic studio reproducing the inside of the Ark, filled with hundreds of animals," Xiberras says. "Now imagine the smell. Now imagine that the animals couldn't stand being under the same roof together."

Asked about the actor who plays Noah's son, Xiberras replied: "We fell for him straight away. We were looking for a guy capable of incarnating Noah's son as well as a modern-day ladies' man and screenwriter. He managed to show loads of emotions without any dialogue, except the phrase at the end. He goes from embarrassment to anxiety to victory and then shock in seconds. It's a great performance."


Client: Canal+

Brand Management: Alice Holzman, Aurélie Stock-Poeuf, Coline André

Agency: BETC

Agency Management: Bertille Toledano, Guillaume Espinet, Elsa Magadoux

Executive Creative Director: Stéphane Xiberras

Creative Director: Olivier Apers

Art Director: Aurélie Scalabre

Copywriter: Patrice Dumas

Traffic: Coralie Chasset

Television Producer: Isabelle Ménard

Production House: Soixante Quinze

Sound Production: Kouz

Director: Matthijs Van Heijningen

Media Plan: Cinema, TV, Web

Available Formats: :40 :45 :50 :70

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