This Playful Cancer PSA Teaches You Almost Every French Nickname for Breasts (SFW)

Are you a melons or a surfboard kinda lady?

Headshot of Angela Natividad

One in eight women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and 90 percent of breast cancer can be fully cured if it's caught early enough. With this in mind, and for Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, coffee brand Carte Noire joined forces with BETC and the Pink Ribbon Foundation to produce a super-cheeky ad encouraging women to get screened regularly.

Under the banner #AuNomDesSeins ("In the name of breasts"), the ad features a slew of famous (and nearly topless) French personalities, including underwear designer Chantal Thomass, singer Micky Green, and musician Yelle (who appears in the first shot and also sings the background music).

Each poses with objects that represent their "favorite" nicknames for their own boobs.

The ad could have come off as labored with metaphors—or worse, nearly surreal in its randomness, like the agency's last piece for Air France. But thankfully, it feels light, tightly produced, pertinent and playful. 

In an exclusive AdFreak interview, creative team Manoelle Van-dee-Vaeren, David Aronson, Fanny Molins and Pierre Caurret wrote: "When we started working on the project, we knew we didn't want to take a negative or scare-tactics approach to the subject. Unlike lung cancer, you can't do anything to affect your chances of getting breast cancer or not, so why make people feel guilty about something they can't control?"

Instead, they focused on encouraging regular screenings with a "somewhat uplifting and feminine approach."

"To call breasts different things is something everyone does, so the idea is universal. Since the campaign is for France, we chose to focus on known French nicknames," the creatives added.

In the case of the client, which is all about punting sinfully dark coffee beans to discerning ladies, "Carte Noire and the association were very open to the idea but worried about us doing something that would be a bit vulgar and sexual. On paper, the idea could be seen that way," they acknowledged.

"That is, of course, not what we wanted, and during the process of developing the scenes and the music, they realized that it wouldn't be like that at all."

We would never have doubted it, given the way the agency approached Air France's latest online safety video. The ad is very much in keeping with their trademark style: provocative, chic and recognizably French. In other words, far from vulgar, though it never strays too far from its neighborhood. (Which is, all things considered, a plus. We weren't watching Blue Is the Warmest Color for the set design!)


Client: Carte Noire

Client Management: Mathilde Reymondier, Elisabète Vidal, Xavier Seyrig

Agency: BETC

Agency Management: Anne-Isabelle Cerles, Vincent Reynaud Lacroze, Amandine Platet

Creative Director: Manoëlle Van-Der-Vaeren

Art Director: Pierre Cauret

Copywriters: Fanny Molins, David Aronson

TV Producer: Caroline Bouillet

Production House: Control

Sound Production: Schmooz

Directors: MAL

Media Plan: Online

@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.
Publish date: September 23, 2015 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT