Alzheimer’s Research UK scoops top award for awareness campaign

Posted on 19th October 2016

Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity, has been named winner in the Not-for-Profit category of the PRWeek UK Awards for its influential #sharetheorange campaign.

The online campaign, which was animated by Aardman and featured actor Christopher Eccleston, was designed to challenge the common misconception that dementia is a natural part of ageing. Alzheimer’s Research UK beat stiff competition at the PRWeek UK Awards yesterday, with judges calling the video – and its use of a simple device to convey a complex message – ‘inspired’.

The 90-second stop-motion animation, which launched in January, features an orange gradually stripped away to demonstrate how diseases like Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia, physically attack the brain. The animation explains that through damage caused by disease, the brain of a person with Alzheimer’s can weigh around 140g less than a healthy brain – about the weight of an orange.

The campaign was created to address the enduring perception of dementia as an unavoidable by-product of age, following surveys commissioned by Alzheimer’s Research UK that showed less than a quarter of people understood that dementia is caused by brain diseases. The video urges viewers to #sharetheorange to help get people thinking differently about dementia – and to date, the campaign has been viewed over 11 million times and shared by 600,000 people, making it the most successful digital campaign in the charity’s history.

Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We are delighted that our work to increase awareness and understanding of dementia is being recognised in this way. For too long dementia has been misunderstood, and we have to show that the condition is not something to be feared as an inevitable part of ageing – it’s caused by diseases, and diseases can be fought and beaten through research. Thanks to research, we have seen major advances in treatments for diseases like cancer and AIDS, now we need to do the same for dementia. But our scientists need the support of the public, and #sharetheorange is helping us to spread the word that we can win the fight against dementia.”

To view and share the film, visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/orange.

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