This moving Alzheimer’s ad explores the ‘ultimate vow’ couples make to each other

U.K.’s Alzheimer’s Society, agency New Commercial Arts and director James Rouse team up for a poignant portrayal

Published On
Mar 10, 2023
A man with dementia hugging his wife

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We’ve seen so many Alzheimer’s PSAs over the years. But money is still desperately needed to fund more research into the disease, which means charities must continue to find compelling ways to tell Alzheimer’s stories.

We saw one fantastic example from BBDO Germany back in January, which used filmmaking tricks to approximate the disorienting feeling of having dementia. And now the Alzheimer’s Society in the U.K. has arrived with a really beautiful spot of its own—anchored by a strong concept, excellent direction and touching performances from the lead actors.


The charity worked with a agency partner, New Commercial Arts, on the film, which was directed by James Rouse through Biscuit Filmworks. Media planning and buying was handled by MediaLab. The campaign launched yesterday (March 9) during Good Morning Britain on ITV Breakfast. The campaign will run in TV, cinema, OOH, press, radio, and social.

The campaign is also the first work under a new brand identity and brand promise for the Alzheimer’s Society. The new logo includes a modernized forget-me-not flower.

As is often the case with Alzheimer’s campaigns, many of those who worked on it have been personally affected by the disease.

“My dad was diagnosed with dementia in his 60s, just at the start of my creative career, so I have lived through the devastation it causes,” said Jules Middleton, creative at New Commercial Arts. “My mum told me if she had fully understood what the ‘in sickness’ of her wedding vows actually meant, she was unsure she would have committed to them. But luckily for me, she did, and that promise—and relationship—is what created the kernel of the idea for ‘The Ultimate Vow.’” 

Middleton added: “Dealing with dementia can leave you feeling hopeless and completely disempowered, but through this project I have regained a little bit of that power back. Hopefully, through raising awareness of Alzheimer’s Society, more people will support their work and can access their services to get a little bit of power back in their lives, too.”

Rouse, the director, watched his grandfather and aunt struggle with the disease.

“It seems clear that dementia needs to become more of a priority,” he said. “We have an aging population, and medical advances mean that we continue living to an ever-older age. On this basis alone we can see that the number of those struggling to live through this condition will only increase year on year, and in all likelihood living longer through it.”

In addition to the film, photographer Mary McCartney took portraits of real couples dealing with dementia diagnoses:

Print ad with real dementia patients and their spouses

Print ad with real dementia patients and their spouses

Print ad with real dementia patients and their spouses

“I’ve always been drawn to people and their relationships, focusing my photography on discovering those rare moments of unguarded, emotionally charged intimacy. That's why I wanted to be part of this campaign for Alzheimer’s Society,” said McCartney. “To visually highlight these relationships and the cherished moments within—moments which become challenged due to dementia. I hope these images help to raise awareness of both dementia and the crucial work of Alzheimer's Society.”


Mar 10, 2023
Client :
Alzheimer's Society
Agency :
New Commercial Arts
Exec Director Fundraising and Marketing :
Alex Hyde-Smith
Associate Director Brand & Marketing :
Harriet Foxwell-Corden
Senior Marketing Manager :
Victoria Evans
Marketing Executive :
Laura Parsons
Marketing Executive :
Ellie Jerman
Chief Creative Officer :
Ian Heartfield
Artistic Director :
Nici Hofer
Creative :
Jules Middleton
Creative :
Peigh Asante
Director of Production & Operations :
Matt Craigie-Atherton
Film Producer :
Lucie Georgeson
Print Producer :
Amanda Davies
Chief Executive Officer :
James Murphy
Business Director :
Miriam Goode
Senior Account Director :
Janki Shah
Chief Strategy Officer :
David Golding
Planning Partner :
John Blight
Project Director :
Sylvie Edwards
Production Company :
Biscuit Filmworks
Director :
James Rouse
Producer :
Benji Howell
Exec Producer :
Rupert Reynolds-MacLean
Mark Wolfe
Production Designer :
Guy Thompson
Wardrobe Stylist :
Selina Wong
Editing Company :
Work Post
Editor :
Bill Smedley
Edit Assistant :
Rebecca Quinn
Edit Producer :
Antonia Porter
Post Production :
Untold Studios
EP :
Tomek Zietkiewicz
Producer :
Simon Downie
Producer :
Jordan Malonga
VFX Supervisor :
Ben Cronin
VFX Artist :
Kia Coates
Colorist :
Julien Alary
Color Producer :
Eli Sandal
Audio Post Production :
Factory Studios
Sound Designer :
Anthony Moore
Sound Designer :
Josh Campbell
Music Supervision :
Sean Craigie-Atherton
Composer / Arranger :
Guy Farley
Photographer :
Mary McCartney
Production :
Retouching :
Hand of God
Design :
King Henry Studio
Integration Director :
Nick Parker
Client Managing Director :
Owen Taylor
Business Director :
George Gwilliam
Senior Account Manager :
Emma Tipping
Account Manager :
Amy Bevis

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