The Ad Council, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and NASCAR, launched new public service announcements (PSAs) featuring NASCAR driver Ryan Blaney sharing his family’s journey with Alzheimer’s disease following his Grandpa Lou’s diagnosis. The PSAs encourage families to have a conversation with loved ones when they notice changes in cognition or behavior.
Blaney, who founded The Ryan Blaney Foundation in 2018 to support causes that personally impact the Blaney family, lost his grandfather, race car driver Lou Blaney, to Alzheimer’s in 2009.
“The opportunity to partner with the Alzheimer’s Association and Ad Council to participate in this campaign further extends the initiatives of the Ryan Blaney Family Foundation and conversations surrounding Alzheimer’s in our communities,” said Ryan Blaney. “As someone whose family has been personally affected by this disease, along with millions of others nationwide, we’re confident this campaign will inspire action to have the tough conversations as a path towards early detection.”
According to the 2023 Alzheimer’s Association Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report, there are currently more than 6 million Americans living with Alzheimer’s. One in three seniors dies from Alzheimer’s or another dementia. An Alzheimer’s Association/Ad Council omnibus survey finds fewer than three in ten people with older loved ones at risk for developing Alzheimer’s (27%) say they are very likely to consider Alzheimer’s as a possibility if they noticed signs of cognitive decline in their loved one. Furthermore, fewer than half (38%) would be very likely to talk to their family member about the changes they were noticing or talk to the person about going to the doctor (42%).
In addition to encouraging families to have conversations, the new campaign stresses the benefits of early detection that include access to treatment options, an opportunity to participate in clinical trials, and more time to plan for the future.
“This new Ad Council campaign seeks to help people understand the critical importance of early detection of Alzheimer’s and dementia as families nationwide are struggling to start these conversations with their loved ones,” said Michael Reich, chief marketing officer, Alzheimer’s Association. “Ryan Blaney and NASCAR are welcomed into the homes of millions of people every race weekend. Their powerful voices can make a very real difference to inspire action and bring about change.”
The campaign’s website alz.org/TimetoTalk offers tools and resources to help families recognize early warning signs of Alzheimer’s, tips for facilitating conversations about cognition, benefits of early detection and diagnosis, a discussion guide for use with doctors and health providers, and other disease-related information.
“We know that for many people, it can be difficult to raise concerns when they notice changes in a loved one,” said Heidi Arthur, chief campaign development officer, Ad Council. “But early diagnosis can make a world of difference in the lives of families. It’s our goal that this campaign will encourage family members to have a conversation when they see signs.”
The national communications campaign was created and produced by Clutch Studios. The PSA will run on television, radio, and digital sites across the country, including donated media support from NASCAR.
“It was a privilege to produce such a impactful narrative for the Alzheimer’s Association on behalf of the Ad Council and hear Ryan’s compelling story about his Grandpa Lou,” said Elliot Mabe, general manager, Clutch Studios. “It’s storytelling in its finest moment and we’re looking forward to seeing how Ryan’s heart-felt story positively influences others.”
Ad Council PR