Viewers of channel seven last night may have already seen the new television commercial launched by Alzheimer’s Australia, the start of its first ever advertising campaign. The campaign which will run in prime time slots on the Seven Network for the next two weeks, urges people who have serious concerns about their memory to seek help sooner rather than later.
Called “There’s a difference”, the 30 second advertisement explains the differences between what is considered ‘normal’ memory loss that may happen with age, and memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.
The campaign will also raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia generally and urge people with memory concerns to act now and seek help either by contacting Alzheimer’s Australia on the National Dementia Helpline or by seeing their doctor.
CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia, Glenn Rees said it was more important than ever that people know the warning signs of dementia and get help. “More than 250,000 Australians are already estimated to be living with dementia and the ageing population is set to send that figure soaring to almost one million people by 2050,” Mr Rees said.
Alzheimer’s Australia engaged international branding and advertising agency, Interbrand, to create the advertisement and help them promote their message.
“We briefed Interbrand to create a simple, effective ad that urged people who have serious concerns about their memory to seek help sooner rather than later – and all within a very limited budget,” said Mr Rees.
Creative Director for Interbrand Australia, Chris Maclean, said, television advertisements were typically very expensive and the limited budget meant a clever, creative approach was needed.
“The original brief was to put together a series of still images. But we had a think around the problem and decided to use a digital SLR camera – the Canon EOS 5D digital SLR – to shoot full 1080P high definition video. This meant we could shoot the whole thing with just myself and a cameraman in someone’s front room and get broadcast quality without the expense of a full production company and sound crew etc,” said Maclean.
“Shooting it this way, we knew creatively what the parameters were. For something like Alzheimers it is perfect. The ad is very simple and understated and the technology was perfect for that.”
Maclean said he hoped the campaign would spark recognition in viewers that something may not be quite right with a parent or friend or relative and let them know that there is somewhere to go.
“If it does that job then we will be delighted,” said Maclean. “People say, oh it’s just old aged and getting forgetful but it might be Alzheimer’s disease; and while there is no cure there are ways to find support and make life more comfortable.”
“It’s not often that we get to use our creative skills for a community cause. We showed the client that our creativity wasn’t limited by their budget and created a visually stunning ad that speaks to a genuine insight,” Mr Maclean said.
CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW, The Hon. John Watkins, added that getting a timely diagnosis – that is, a diagnosis sooner, rather than later – is important in helping to get the right information, treatment and support.
“[A timely diagnosis] gives people an opportunity to plan ahead and make decisions about their future care and finances,” said Mr Watkins.
“It is also important for people to understand the difference between normal memory loss and dementia,” he said.
“It is one thing to get distracted and forget where you parked your car, but forgetting you had a car in the first place may be an indication that you may need to seek medical help.”
Click here to see the Alzheimer’s Australia television advertisement.