VIDEO: ‘Santa Forgot’ from Alzheimers Research UK

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”  Hilary Evans, Chief Executive, Alzheimer’s Research UK.

The Christmas ads are coming in thick and fast and the messages of togetherness, fun and empowerment have been relayed by a number of brands. There is however, one advert that has taken a slightly different direction.
Aardman Animations, famed for their Wallace and Gromit creations, have partnered with a number of charity organisations to create short films to convey powerful messages and their work with Alzheimer’s Research UK is no exception. Having worked together in the past on their “Share the Orange” ad, the aim was to again create a thought provoking film that urges the public to take a closer look at dementia. Through the use of stunning animation and a powerful script this has definitely been achieved in the charity’s latest offering, “Santa Forgot”.
Creating an animated film featuring a Santa who suffers from dementia is a bold move. For a character as universally loved as Santa Claus, to be affected by dementia reinforces the message that the condition does not discriminate. It can affect anyone, no matter how magical or cherished they may be.

The importance of research is one of ARUK’s main messages and something that is clearly highlighted in the film. However the ad also does an effective job of drawing attention to the symptoms of dementia. It communicates that aside from confusion, dementia can also cause isolation and a feeling of ineffectiveness.

With figures revealed earlier this month that dementia is now the leading cause of death in the UK (61,000 people died from dementia in 2015), the messages in the animation and the work that ARUK is doing needs to be shared now more than ever.
Chief Executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, Hilary Evans 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. Santa Forgot reminds us to believe in the power of research.”

Along with being created by the Wallace and Gromit animators, the animation features a narrator with an equal pedigree – Stephen Fry. Despite the ad being premiered after the 9pm watershed (as it could be upsetting to children), Fry believes the message is an important one and encapsulates the fundamentals of Christmas spirit.

“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.”