HBO The Alzheimer's Project

>> Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Not the catchiest title in television for sure, but in my opinion one of the most compelling uses of the television medium to deliver specific marketing objectives. One to raise awareness of a horrible disease and two to rally people to support those dealing with it every single day.

I finally sat down and watched HBO's The Alzheimer's Project, the four part series that debuted back in May. (btw, my television life has become completely "on demand" and I love it)

I first checked out the website ( to get a little background information. I was drawn in immediately. I'm in the industry obviously, but was still naive to the impact that this disease has on people's lives. Especially the family members.
It is the second "most feared" disease, behind cancer. And with the Baby Boom generation coming of age, we are going to need solutions for it.

The film Grandpa, Do You Know Who I Am? takes a specific look at the impact on children and is narrated by Maria Shriver who has particular credibility on the topic. It'll change your view on "suffering" and who "suffers most", forever.

After I watched the first of four films, I went back to the website to learn more about the disease. I was amazed at how deep HBO had taken the project which now includes information on the science behind the disease with an entire supplementary series dedicated to deeper education.

You can even contribute to The Tribute Wall on Facebook.

I give HBO a lot of credit for tackling these kinds of projects, and The Alzheimer's Project is not their first. It's the kind of television programming (online and off) that I believe the "big brands" ought to help create and whole heartedly support.

As a marketing community, we should take our collective strength, rally around these causes, and help folks deal with their lives. Sort of like Extreme Home Makeover without the screaming crowds. I'm certainly going to encourage our wellness clients to take the marketing to higher ground.

Hope this finds you well -- Jim.


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