I am already dead

‘I have ALS but I do not need help. I am already dead. But please help the ones that still have a chance!’

This is a pro-bono advert created by Publicis in the Netherlands and released in early 2012 to create awareness about ALS, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also referred to as motor neurone disease. Patients suffering from ALS will lose all all their motor functions but their mind stays the same. They are fully aware that they loose their ability to move, all muscles stop, one by one, lose their speech, their breath, until their heart stops beating. It is an incurable disease and once diagnosed the patients die on average within 3 years. This is claimed to be  the main reason why pharmaceutic industry does not want to invest into scientific research.

The ALS campaign used a shocking effect to raise awareness. Every advert has a different ALS patient speaking, asking for support ”for all those who suffer from ALS. Not for me, I have already died.”
(Publicis Netherlands, 2012, available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJgoByPlk9Q&feature=player_embedded, accessed 11 Oct. 2012)

After the patients have died, their campaigns were aired and caused a massive public uproar. Without any budget to start with, the campaign was featured in all major newspapers, outdoor posters, TV, radio, print, online banners, websites and social media sites. Donations went up by 500% and more money is expected to be invested into ALS research.

This advert shocked and moved me in it’s conceptual brilliance and horrendous content.
I love it.

Image 1: (ALS campaign, Conny Deenik, available at osocio.org, accessed 11. Oct. 2012)