Campaign SpotlightPress Release

Santa Claus fights cancer in Gustave Roussy and Publicis Conseil’s Christmas tale of hope

PARIS, FRANCE — 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 fourth in the world, wants to highlight this incredible yet very realistic hope, with a fact that is little known to the general public.

“The festive season, during which we are making this film, is an opportunity to draw on the magic of Christmas and all the emotions and memories it embodies, at a time of year when French people are close to their loved ones and inclined to great generosity. It’s an opportunity to make our message of healing part of a universal story and to remind people of the extent to which donations can speed up research. We’re proud of this wonderful film, which is a beacon of hope for all cancer patients and their families” declared Professor Fabrice Barlesi, Executive Director of Gustave Roussy.


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.

“Our agencies have always made Christmas films to sell products or services. This year, Santa Claus is defending the fight against cancer because he has been affected by the disease. We wanted to raise awareness with Gustave Roussy, but above all we wanted to convey a message of hope and say that he has been cured thanks to the donations received for research,” explained Marco Venturelli, CEO/CCO of Publicis Conseil.

The film takes us through Santa’s journey from 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.”

The campaign will be broadcast on TV and digitally 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 plans.

To donate you may visit here or send DON10 via a text to 92250 to donate €10.

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