Alzheimer’s Australia Turns the Unspoken into the Unforgettable

by admin on December 8, 2013

Alzheimers Australia

Changing the way that an entire nation views a problem is more than most brand strategies can accomplish. However, tasked with the enormous burden of educating a nation to save its life, Alzheimer’s Australia was equal to the task.

Scary Fact: By the year 2030 the number one disease that kills Australians will not be cancer or heart disease, but Alzheimer’s disease.

Scarier Fact: Until recently, the Australian government would not even recognise Alzheimer’s as a chronic disease.

Enter: Alzheimer’s Australia.

Since the 1980s, a federation of state-based awareness groups has fought to make Alzheimer’s disease a household name and propel it to the top of the list among national health priorities and initiatives. Collectively, this group of agencies, called Alzheimer’s Australia, have been ill rewarded for their efforts, however, ranking at number 112 for donations in 2011. With statistics like those featured above, it is clear that something needed to change…perhaps a rebrand?

The rebranding of Alzheimer’s Australia had more riding on it than a bottom line. Fighting for lives, the goal was, as CEO Glenn Rees so eloquently put, to ‘put a bloody great big bomb under the problem’. This was a rebranding not of a company, but of a disease, with the goal set not at profits, but eradication.

The response to this challenge is both simple and elegant. Focusing on only two colours—aqua and white—and often using only four, revolving words, the purpose of the new brand was not graphics, but attitude. With this simple rebrand, Alzheimer’s Australia created a flexible visual image that revolved around communicating their name, identifying a problem, and rallying the troops with strong calls to action.

They also made their image simple and merchandisable in order to appeal to other businesses as commercial partners. Examples include:

  • Fight Alzheimer’s. Save Australia.
  • Understand Alzheimer’s. Educate Australia.
  • Banish Alzheimer’s. Embrace Australia.
  • Talk Alzheimer’s Across Australia.

This is a fantastic example of the immense power of good visual branding. The idea was to make the visual details rotational, to focus on more than name and galvanise a nation around a problem that will only get worse if we ignore it. In short, they had to transform the unspoken into the unforgettable.

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