After the recent flurry of heart-warming and uplifting Christmas adverts, Alzheimer’s UK have gone completely the other way with a new Christmas advert that will have you setting down your eggnog and crying into your stocking.
This year Alzheimer’s UK have chosen to use the classical tale of Father Christmas and turn it into a powerful message of awareness about the effects of the disease.
Their sweet but sad advert tells the story of a little girl called Freya, who, while unpacking Christmas tree decorations with her dad, notices an old forgotten ornament of a man in a red outfit with a white trim – you can guess who!
Her dad explains that Santa used to deliver presents to children all over the world every Christmas Eve, but one year he became forgetful and confused, giving the wrong presents to the wrong children.
The narrator explains how he, ‘began to mix up presents and muddle names, he seemed sad, distant and afraid’.
In the years to follow, his confusion worsened until he was unable to bring any presents at all, being forced to sit at home in the North Pole.
But Freya didn’t want to believe the story ended there, so she visited Santa’s home and asked the elves to help her in researching what could be done.
Before our eyes, the elves pull on lab coats and begin the important work into finding a cure for Alzheimer’s that doctors do every day.
Freya begins to believe that there is hope for Santa, and comforts him with a squeeze of his hand while whispering ‘I believe in you’.
The advert hopes to raise awareness of the isolating symptoms of Alzheimer’s and encourage donations for research into the disease.
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.
‘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.’
Stephen Fry, narrator of Santa Forgot, 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.’
Do you think the advert is too sad for Christmas? Or does it send an important message? Tell us in the comment box!