On Board for the North Pole or the South Pole with Ponant Cruise and Fred & Farid LA

French cruise company PONANT has just launched its campaign “The North Pole, The South Pole, And You”. We go behind-the-scenes with the agency, Fred & Farid Los Angeles

кем Maud Largeaud , AdForum



  • What was the brief and the aim of the campaign?

Legendary French cruise company Ponant introduces its new vessel “Le Commandant Charcot” to the world. “Le Commandant Charcot” is traveling to the north and south Poles. The company asked FRED & FARID to imagine a campaign in order to reinvent the genre of the cruise category… by celebrating the emotional benefit, almost the “soul benefit” over the functional one. Our creative solution is showing the different awakenings people will discover during the experience with Ponant. The awakening of the senses and the knowledge behind these incredible destinations and untouched ecosystems.


  • The viewers might be under the impression that they’re watching a documentary rather than a commercial. Why did you decide to adopt that approach?

This approach was chosen on purpose by FRED & FARID Los Angeles, in order to pay tribute to the transformative experience offered by “Le Commandant Charcot”. The voice over describes what travellers will learn during this never seen before journey at the Poles. An experience whose magic transforms man, and reminds us of our place in the universe.


  • How did you choose the music and the narrator, which help to put the viewer in the position of a spectator?

FRED & FARID Los Angeles together with Ponant and the production company Noside approached musician and composer Cecile Delaurentis, @DeLaurentis, to compose an original track for the campaign. Her inspiring and aerial music resonates perfectly with the creative approach and the pace of the narration.

The agency took a similar approach for selecting the narrator, actor and comedian. Nathan Willcocks worked on recording a really inspiring voice over with a certain emotion tinted by the importance of the message delivered. We wanted to avoid the stereotypes of an “advertising” voice to tell a bigger story of an explorator coming from really far away, from space maybe or from a research station in Antarctica…


  • How many of the images were filmed or shot for the campaign and how many are from picture libraries and archives?

Over the past 10 years, Ponant’s vessels have been shooting incredible footage around the globe during their different expeditions. We were lucky to have access to dozens of hours of original footage that really helped to create this video. We also used premium stock footage shots by different explorators to the Poles. Eventually the remaining sequences are a mix of 3d, flame compositions and map painting shots developed by the incredible teams at NoSide Production in Paris.


  • There's also a lot of animation in the spot: are many of the landscapes computer generated too?

Most of the landscapes are coming from Ponant footage, and some of them were enhanced by the CGI teams. But ultimately we wanted to stay fair to the reality of such incredible destinations and everything has been discussed and approved by Ponant’s naturalists and expert explorers.


  • The Commandant Charcot is a truly exclusive and luxurious vessel. Why did you decide not to give us at least a glimpse of the interior?

The creative direction was all about the awakening experience and not the services onboard.

This direction is meant to inspire the viewer, and the high end narration implies a high end offer & service. The campaign will keep unfolding, and will include targeted content depicting the luxury services offered onboard “Le Commandant Charcot”. 


To learn more about Fred & Farid:

FRED & FARID Los Angeles
Полный комплекс услуг
Los Angeles , United States
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