The flurry of Christmas ads that come out at this time of year all aim to pull at out heartstrings - usually very successfully. The one this year from Alzheimer's Research UK is no exception, but for very good reason.
The charity is striving to shatter the misconception that dementia is an inevitable part of ageing.
Hilary Evans, chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “Santa Forgot is a poignant and powerful reminder that dementia doesn’t discriminate. 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.
Designed to be particularly hard hitting, the video explores the shattering idea that Santa has developed Alzheimer's disease and is no longer able to deliver his presents to children around the world on Christmas Eve. But one little girl refuses to give up on him.....
Produced by Aardman Animations (creators of Wallace and Gromit), and narrated by Stephen Fry, the message of the video is clear. In just the same way that it is research that has opened the door towards finding a cure for Cancer and AIDS, research also holds the answer to starting the fight back against the physical diseases which cause dementia.
"Santa Forgot reminds us to believe in the power of research.”
Hilary Evans, CEO Alzheimer's Research UK
Liz Ayre an Alzheimer’s Research UK Champion: Liz lost her husband Mike to early-onset Alzheimer’s in 2013 aged just 51. Their daughter Ciana voices Freya in the animation.
“Santa Forgot is beautiful, sad and hopeful all at once and stirred so many different emotions when we watched it. The film shows that dementia doesn’t discriminate: it affects people from so many different backgrounds from nurses and teachers to world leaders and eloquent writers.
“If we’re ever going to change how society views, or often ignores, dementia, we have to be a bit confrontational and challenge people’s misconceptions. I hope Santa Forgot gives people two minutes to think about the impact of dementia this Christmas, and be inspired by how we can change the future with research. I’m proud that my family has been involved in the campaign, and to hear Ciana bring Freya’s voice to life in the animation is a special moment for us and a great tribute to Mike.”
Alzheimer's Research UK Champion