Monday, March 23, 2009

New ad from the Alzheimer's Society

I would be really interested to know what people think about this ad.

If you can spend a moment and leave a comment it would be most appreciated. Dick Stroud


Chuck Nyren said...

I like it.

Yes - there is an ageist slant to it - as if gray hair and wrinkles are horrible afflictions - and as serious as dementia. But that might be nitpicking.

However, the term 'violent mood swings' concerns me. While forgetting the names of your children and not being able to dress yourself are indicative of Alzheimer's/dementia (although it would probably be diagnosed before reaching those stages) - mood swings are common. They can be serious and not so serious. And how would some people interpret 'violent'? Are the swings violent - or do you become violent?

This spot might needlessly frighten people. "I have gray hair AND mood swings! I must have Alzheimer's!"

Janet said...

I think that it is really good to raise awreness of teh society but I have no idea who this is aimed at - I would have throught that it would have been better targeted at people who know someone affetced by it - probably someone a bit older looking. Also why all women? I thought men were just as likley to get it as women.
Overall I don't think that they have really researched this, could do a lot better to engae people like me!


Emma Solomon said...

I like it for being different, I like it for challenging our preoccupation with anti-aging frippery when there are more serious things to worry about.

But I agree the messages are mixed, I thought it felt like a Dove ad at first - it feels like an 'anti female anti ageing product' stance rather than a 'tackle dementia as a serious concern' stance. Mood swings, women and aging are all things that could be suggesting some sort of menopausal agenda (again I am just giving you first impressions).

Like Janet I need to see some men and something other than disconcerted preening to balance out the feeling someone is waiting to catch me having a mood swing while looking for my grey hairs - and call it dementia, rather than Monday morning.

Sarah Reed said...

What a lot to think about!

The spot is good looking - even if it does have a rather old-fashioned-tasteful-charity-or Dove ad look-and-feel. As to using good-looking younger models - in the context of elderly people being mostly the sufferers and younger people's perceived general dislike of images of them, this might be helpful in the empathising department.

Given the lack of general knowledge about dementia and the fact that many people are pretty much in denial about it anyway, it's great that the Alzheimer's Society have produced an ad that addresses it, although I don't know what they're asking us (whoever that is) to do - give money? join up? volunteer? continue to admire their work and commitment to the cause? " the Alzheimer's Society lead the fight against dementia." is pretty ambiguous. (It would be interesting to know what the media plan for the ad is.)

Also I wasn't sure which one, if any, of the models was the person who might be destined to get the disease. At the end of the ad it seemed slightly to imply that the middle model was the one - the black girl. Even though she looks around at the other two (is it them?) in the edit, she seems to be responding to them looking at her, because she knows that they know she has it, I wondered? Presumably, they don't mean to infer that incidence of the disease is related to race?

I thought the observation that we happily spend money trying to keep visible age at bay, while not spending it on unseen problems was good and for myself, didn't think this notion made it ageist (although I agree with Janet and Emma that it was a bit sexist, being women only). The beauty industry and media have massive clout and influence on women - and even men, now, in this regard, (i.e in encouraging us to spend on their products). Perhaps the Alzheimer's Society could talk to them and get them involved in a campaign?

Obviously, while dementia is costing the UK economy some £17 billion every year or whatever, although in contrast only £11.00 currently is being spent on research for every Alzheimer's sufferer in the country, and given the recession and people's giving habits changing, I'm sure they need to attract funds for research more than ever before. If this is what the ad is trying to do, I'm not really convinced it will work.

However, the really big thing that was missing for me was any sense that we should care personally - it somehow seems to imply that money will cure the problem (a bit like early Cancer Research campaigns used to). Of course, donations can be used for research and that's definitely a good thing (although they didn't ask for this).

Nor does the ad ask us to care about anyone other than ourselves. The truth is that unless a cure can be found very soon, we're going to need a simply VAST army of committed and well-trained carers in this country to help the growing numbers of dementia sufferers over the next twenty years, at home and in Homes. Yet in existing EMI units of Care Homes, even basic specialist training can be shockingly absent. Obviously a much bigger story, but for me, these are the kinds of issues that the Alzheimer's Society could start telling us about. That might make people want to contribute funds. That, and asking them, of course.

Dick Stroud said...

An e-mail I received about this ad

I think the ad is a cop out – it’s not hard hitting enough. Alzheimers is a tragic condition which affects families in the most distressing way. I don’t see how 3 models straight out of central casting for L’Oreal can convey the seriousness of the disease.’

Malcolm said...

Irrespective of the aesthetic appeal of the ad, it didn't motivate me in away to do something .. anything. This is probably the message got lost in its medium? It simply didn't come across as a request for money which is, after all, the point of it .. I think.