Even Santa isn’t safe from dementia in the latest hard-hitting advert from Alzheimer’s Research UK (ARUK)
The dementia research charity Alzheimer’s Research UK are aiming to give John Lewis and Sainsbury’s a run for their money by creating their own Christmas advert, aimed at raising awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and the importance of funding for research.
In the advert, created by Aardman Animations (the creators of Wallace & Gromit), a young girl called Freya finds a toy Santa amongst her decorations, but doesn’t know who he is.
It turns out that a few years ago, Santa started forgetting things, struggled to deliver Christmas presents and started feeling depressed – all classic signs of dementia. Eventually he stopped delivering presents altogether and was soon forgotten.
Freya decides to visit the North Pole, where she rallies Santa’s elves to become Alzheimer’s research scientists, explaining that if Santa has a disease, then research could help to find a cure for it.
She finds Santa sitting alone and looking despondent and whispers that she still believes in him. The advert then calls for people to play a part in fighting back by helping to fund research. Watch the advert below.
The advert will be aired on Wednesday 16th November 2016, between 9:10pm and 9:20pm during the first ad break for I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! on ITV. Thereafter, it will be shown on various channels throughout the next seven days. It’s had to be shown after the watershed of 9pm because of fears that it will upset young children.
‘Santa is an important cultural figure, but the idea that he too could be affected drives home the point that dementia can strike those most special in our lives,’ said Hilary Evans, the chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK.
‘We have to be provocative about dementia, to help fight misconceptions and fatalism around the condition and to demonstrate that pioneering research holds the answers.
‘We have made enormous strides against diseases like cancer and Aids, and with the right research we can do the same for dementia. The advert reminds us to believe in the power of research.’
You may recognise the distinctive voice of Stephen Fry as the narrator on the video. He said:
‘From the moment I was told about Santa Forgot I wanted to lend my support – it is an inspiring and beautiful take on a Christmas tale.
‘I urge people up and down the country to get behind the campaign so we can fuel the fight against dementia and take a step forward to making it history.’
We can’t help feeling that while the advert’s hard-hitting nature could get people digging into their pocket to donate to research, we should also remember that just because Santa has dementia, it doesn’t mean that he has to be depressed, lonely and give up on what he loves to do at Christmas. Many people are living happy, positive lives with dementia, and we reckon Santa could do the same!
You can donate £5 to ARUK by texting BELIEVE to 70755.
What do you think of the ARUK video? Let us know in the comments box below.