Epic Alzheimer’s Research UK film shows dementia stealing fairy tale endings


Alzheimer’s Research UK, Above+Beyond and Yonder Media have launched a heartbreaking animated film to bring to life the ‘happily ever afters’ that dementia has stolen.

Despite the fact that millions in the UK will go through a devastating journey with dementia, there is still a startling lack of awareness about the devastating effects of the condition.

Alzheimer’s Research UK has revealed that less than half (49%) the British public can name memory loss as an effect of dementia, with over a fifth (22%) saying they have no idea how the condition impacts people.

Alzheimer’s film

This impactful film brings home the importance of Alzheimer Research UK’s mission to find a cure, and urges the British public to stand with them and support their revolutionary research.

The campaign is the first under their new platform ‘For A Cure’.

The Disney-style animated ad, created by Above+Beyond, begins with the quintessential fairytale ending, showing a prince and princess slaying a dragon and riding off into the sunset, happily ever after.

Narrated by Olivia Colman

But, as the Oscar-winning Olivia Colman begins to narrate, we slowly realise that this isn’t the ending we all know and expect.

In the campaign film, “Change The Ending”, we witness the prince decline in character and appearance – at first forgetful, but then evolving into someone fearful, and physically weak – much to the concern and sorrow of a princess who remains stoic and committed to his care.

It ends with a match cut from animation to a real couple in live action, revealing that this isn’t a fairy-tale but the devastating reality for the almost one million people in the UK living with dementia today, with someone developing the condition every three minutes.

But there is a way to change the ending – through research.

Oscar-winner Olivia Colman voices the new campaign, laying bare the harsh reality of the condition to improve awareness: “As soon as I heard about the concept behind Alzheimer’s Research UK’s campaign, I wanted to be involved and support their search for a cure.

“Dementia devastates lives and wreaks havoc on far too many families across the UK and around the world.

“The work Alzheimer’s Research UK does is so important, and I was proud to lend my voice to this campaign – it lays bare the realities of dementia in such a powerful and thought-provoking way.

“I was holding back tears narrating the film as dementia destroys people’s ‘happily-ever-afters’, and we must do everything we can to end the pain and distress it causes.

“I’d urge everyone to join me and get behind Alzheimer’s Research UK to help drive them towards a cure.”

With this campaign, Alzheimer’s Research UK urges the nation to stand with them to find a cure for dementia and change the ending for millions.

The film is two minutes long, and launched on TV with a special ad break in Channel 4 News 21 September, which is World Alzheimer’s Day.

The full-length version plays out across cherry picked spots on TV, as well as in cinemas nationwide. Additional 30- and 10-second cut downs run across TV and social media until 1 November.

Yonder Media planned and bought the media, putting an emphasis on high attention environments that would ensure audiences were drawn into the story and its hard-hitting ending.

The Beyond Collective, group company to Above+Beyond and Yonder Media, strategic agency Frontier, launched the charity’s new brand positioning ‘For A Cure’ in May this year, following a year-long review of the brand.

All three agencies pitched independently to work with Alzheimer’s Research UK and now work collaboratively as a single, cross-disciplined team to deliver what The Beyond Collective calls the atomic impact of collectivism.

It marked the charity’s move to becoming a more campaigning brand, with a greater focus on its purpose.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive, at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “It’s been fantastic working with The Beyond Collective and Yonder Media to develop and deliver this powerful campaign.

“Our new film features a story we urgently need to tell – because this is the distressing reality for many people living with dementia today.

“Tragically, it will be the reality for many more if we don’t act now. By putting a spotlight on the devastation this condition causes, we hope to ignite support for the vital research that will change the ending for everyone affected by dementia.”

Dom Goldman, Chief Creative Officer, at Above+Beyond, said: “We very much hope this poignant film will inspire the nation and support Alzheimer’s Research UK in their quest to find a cure – something we will all desperately need.”

Ed Cox, Founder and Managing Director at Yonder Media, said: “This is such a powerful piece of creative work, we decided we needed a media strategy that would do it justice.

“Typically, media agencies would run a mile from a long-format ad, but we recognise the importance of impact – and this film is at its most powerful on the big screen and in high attention moments that only cinema and appointment-to-view TV can offer.”