Alzheimer’s Soci­ety: Mem­o­ry Walk campaign

Exhibited by
Katie Simmons
March 28, 2019
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Public, supporters
Type of Charity
Country of Origin
Date of first appearance

SOFII’s view

This campaign put emotion front and centre in a bid to bring supporters onboard. Based on a heart-rending direct response television (DRTV) ad, it saw participation in Alzheimer Society’s Memory Walk soar, making it the fastest-growing mass participation charity event in the United Kingdom. Results like that speak for themselves.

Summary / objectives

Created by digital and direct marketing agency LIDA, the integrated campaign ran across television (TV), radio, out of home (OOH) and digital, specifically to encourage women aged 35-64 to sign up for the walk.

The campaign was centred around a poignant direct response TV ad, with copy co-written by the granddaughter of the real life couple who feature in it. It uses old black and white photos and shows a woman with dementia making an appeal to the public to sign up for Memory Walk to help her husband who has supported her throughout the disease:

‘Walk for the man who has become my carer; for the man who is my voice when I can’t find the words; for the man who kept his promise to love me to the end.’

This was a shift in approach to marketing the event, using people’s emotional connection to dementia to encourage them to support.

Building on the TV ad (which you can watch by scrolling to the bottom of this case study), LIDA also created a series of OOH executions focusing on the same couple. One version ‘walk for my wife’ features an old black and white photograph of the young couple, this time with words written by the husband to his wife:

'For my love, who’s been by my side for over 50 years. For her courage, in her confusion; for her humour, in our hardest times; for our lifetime of memories, too many forgotten.


Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer – someone develops dementia every three minutes, with one million people set to develop the condition by 2021. The Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walks are a series of organised walking events across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Memory Walk has been one of the fastest growing mass participation events in the UK. In 2018, the walk series raised over £8m and boasted over 100,000 participants. 

Creator / originator

LIDA and Alzheimer’s Society

Influence / impact

This campaign shifted the focus of the event, using the emotional hook to encourage people to take part and understanding that the people taking part in the event were doing so because of their emotional links to dementia and not because the event itself is particularly exciting or challenging. The events are a safe space for people to share their experiences and talk about dementia which is still something of a taboo subject in many ways. By linking the idea of taking part more powerfully with the cause, the charity was able to increase participant numbers and income. 

Nicky Bullard, executive creative director of LIDA, commented:

'The challenge was to create compelling work on a shoestring. Work that didn’t just ask people to walk, but moved them to walk. There’s no fancy tech here, just a simple, powerful and real story about a devoted husband, a woman in the midst of the condition and a granddaughter who misses her Nan.'


Memory Walk was the fastest growing mass participation event in the UK in the last five years. The event grew by 69 per cent and raised £6.6 million in 2016.

This campaign was presented at SOFII’s flagship event, I Wish I’d Thought Of That (IWITOT) London, in 2019.