Gustave Roussy

A True Story

Agency: Publicis Conseil


Cancer has never been cured as much as it is today, yet when we think about cancer, we immediately think of death. Few of us are aware of the incredible progress that has been made in curing this disease. Today, 66% of cancers can be healed, and science has made more progress in the last 10 years than in the last 100.

For its fundraising campaign, Gustave Roussy, the leading cancer center in France, Europe, and 4th in the world, wants to highlight this incredible yet very realistic hope, with a fact that is little known to the general public.

Conceived by Publicis Conseil, directed by Vladimir de Fontenay, and produced by Iconoclast, the film is a modern Christmas tale in which fiction and reality are deliberately intertwined. It recounts an unknown but true story: Santa Claus once had cancer... and recovered.

The film takes us through Santa’s journey the year he was diagnosed with cancer, from the discovery of his illness to the various treatments he received at Gustave Roussy, as well as the unwavering support he received from his daughter and the medical staff until he went into remission.

Just like anyone who is affected, Santa Claus will go through moments of doubt, despair, and sorrow, but also of joy. As his illness deprived him of the attributes that make him Santa Claus in everyone's eyes - his long beard and white hair - he persisted, whatever the cost, in working in his workshop to ensure children's Christmases while still undergoing heavy treatment. Thanks to advances in research and the support of Gustave Roussy, Santa is now cured and can resume his rounds and his work, bringing joy to millions of children.

The universal impact of the film shows that being affected by the disease does not just happen to others, and that even if Santa Claus, that timeless character linked to childhood, is affected, we are all involved.

This highly emotional, cinematic film ends on a note of hope: "Cancer can be cured and now, more than ever, is the time to believe in it." And it is donations that will indeed make the difference and make this possible, so let's give to research!

To make a donation go to: Gustave Roussy Donation Page or send DON10 via a text to 92250 to donate 10€.

The campaign will be broadcast on TV and digital from 20 December, and then, in cinemas. The campaign was created in pro-bono by Publicis Conseil with the support of Prodigious and Publicis Media. Many thanks to Iconoclast for their support and generosity in producing this film, and to the agencies, in particular, TF1, NRJ, France Télévision, Paramount, Canal, Amaury l'équipe, Altice, My TF1, Audiencexpress, Teads, Dailymotion, Gravity, Qwarry, Bliink, Les Échos / Le Parisien, Snapchat, MEDIAVISION, CANAL+ BRAND SOLUTIONS / UGC, who donated some of the media plan.

This professional campaign titled 'A True Story' was published in France in December, 2023. It was created for the brand: Gustave Roussy, by ad agency: Publicis Conseil. This Film medium campaign is related to the Public Interest industry and contains 1 media asset. It was submitted 4 months ago.


Advertiser: Gustave Roussy
Advertising Managers: Pr Fabrice Barlesi, Dr Valérie Lapierre, Dr Isabelle Sourrouille, Perrine de Longevialle, Françoise Prost, Camille Defossez, Mélanie Berbach, Anne-Sophie de Boissard, Hélène Caron, Camille Gallot, Vivien Garaud, Jordan Carpin, Pierre Lambert.
Advertising Agency: Publicis Conseil
CEO: Agathe Bousquet
CEO:CCO : Marco Venturelli
Executive Creative Director: Pierre Mathonat
Copywriter: Kevin Salembier
Art Director: Nicolas Hurez
TV Producer: Sarah Bouadjera
Account Managers: Emilie Jeanneau, Chloé Tabourian
Process Manager: Judith Siboni
Production TV
Director: Vladimir de Fontenay
Director of Photography: Arnaud Potier
Production Designer: Arno Roth
Stylist: Diane Gagnant
1st AD: Gabriel Levy
2nd Assistant Director: Annaelle Menoni
Producer: Nathalie Le Caer
Production Company: Iconoclast
Production Director: Nicolas Avram
Production Coordinator: Léa Rambeau
Santa Claus: Johann Heldenberg
Santa Claus’ Daughter: Billie Blain
Elf: Mael Debry
Gustave Roussy Child: Yoann Monhurel
Stage manager : Sephora Mayer
SFX: Olivier Robert
MFX: Frederic Laine pour Atelier 69
1st Decoration Assistant: Clara Boulard
Postproduction Company: Poster Company
Post producer: Vanessa Koscianski
Film Editor: Sylvie Landra
Calibrator : Nicolas Gautier
Graphic Designer: Mael Gaumont
Sound Production: Prodigious
Sound Producer: Emmanuel Desmadryl
Sound Engineer: Laurent Lavaud
Sound Design: Studio Badje – Felix Davin
Music Creative Director: Christophe Caurret
Music AD: Gregoire Bucaille et Maxime Rouge
Business Affairs: Prodigious
Romain Busnel - Camille Masse - Constance Duhourcau Clara Bonnel & Florian Izquierdo
Press contacts Gustave Roussy – Claire Parisel – – 06 17 66 00 26 Publicis -
Music Title: Atmosphere
Authors/Composers: Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook, Ian Curtis, Stephen Morris
Performing Artist: James Blake
Editor: Universal Music Publishing Ltd.
Producer: 2020 UMG Recordings, Inc. (A Republic Records / Polydor Records Release)


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