New Campaign Hopes to Ease the Conversation Around Alzheimer’s Disease

Family members can struggle to discuss signs of memory loss with loved ones—often early signifiers of Alzheimer’s disease. A new campaign by the Ad Council and the Alzheimer’s Association might help.

A new campaign from the Alzheimer’s Association, with the support of the Ad Council, hopes to make clear the disease’s warning signs—which aren’t always so visible.

With June being Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, the two groups teamed up with the ad agency The Community on the “Our Stories” campaign, which highlights how close family members generally notice memory issues before anyone else—but often don’t know how to bring those issues up.

And that’s not an uncommon issue, either, given that every 65 seconds a person in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s disease, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the nation. The association noted in a new survey that nearly 90 percent of Americans say they’d want a family member to tell them if they were suffering from memory loss, but nearly three-quarters of respondents said that such a conversation would be difficult to have.

The ad campaign, created on a pro-bono basis, sets a path forward for families facing that difficult conversation, Alzheimer’s Association Chief Marketing Officer Michael Carson explained.

“Discussing Alzheimer’s is challenging for families, and this campaign tackles the issue directly,” he said in a news release. “Initiating conversations sooner can enable early diagnosis, which offers many important benefits, including allowing more time for critical care planning, better disease management, and providing diagnosed individuals a voice in their future care.”

The campaign, with a distinctive art style evocative of watercolor-tinted pencil sketches, highlights five distinct stories, complete with animated videos for each. The website, with a unique depth-based navigation approach, also includes interactive resources that aim to help kickstart a conversation with either a loved one or a medical professional.

“The resulting product is a beautiful balance of art and information that we hope breaks through with the audience and leads to increased doctor visits and diagnoses at an early stage,” said Chris Neff, The Community’s senior director of innovation.

But while the campaign is definitely a looker, it’s the broader message that is driving it forward.

“The ad campaign is designed to encourage and empower people to have productive conversations before a crisis occurs,” Carson said.

“Cynthia and Ed,” one of the ads in the “Our Stories” campaign. (via YouTube)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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