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Mixing Fact With Fiction - Alzheimer's Ads

Pharmaceutical advertisements target our emotions with intent to instill worry, anxiety, fear, dread to convince us that something is amiss. 

Be wary of those who diagnose a condition then offer themselves as the solution.

Among my favorite pharma advets is the proclaimation:

  1. the brain changes as we age

Question: What changes? 

  • Increased Wisdom?
  • Learned Patience?
  • Acquired Knowledge?
  • Decreased Buying Habits? 
  • A warning to our children...wherever shall we put Mother and Father and other annoyingly old people?

The question implies age itself is the connection between alzheimer's + age.

Logic follows to inform us that change is negative and remind of the risk for brain disease

Alzheimer's, the bogeyman for forgetful grandmas and oldsters everywhere

Yes, Alzheimer's is a bad, very bad disease and I want a cure...

but...Save My Sanity!

I believe the best change to the aging brain is that it develops a resistance to the absorption of BS, becomes a cranky, outspoken, spendthift more serious about voting than the average, idealistic twenty-something.

Tere's no cure necessary for the vast majority of the blue hair crowd

Let's Get Critical, Use the Noodle

Modern advertising employs a potpourri of psychological, manipulative language, sounds and images that tickle the interest and distract parts of the brain which usually partake in suspension of disbelief.  Magicians sleight of hand, Hide the Pea game.

Use Language to Convey Trust

Currently, more than five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's.

Facts

  • It is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • About 13% of Americans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer's
  • Half of those over age 85 will develop Alzheimer's - or related dementia.

Health analysts estimate that in just five years the number of Americans with Alzheimer's will jump to 7.7 million and by 2050 the number is projected to more than double to 16 million.

Question: Why is this disease growing so rapidly?  Simply put, our population is "graying" and our citizens are living much longer than any previous generation. In fact, the fastest growing segment of our population is the over 80 age group, and the odds of becoming demented for the very elderly are much higher.

Learn the Finer Art of Statistics Delivery

The Set Up

Examine the language & flip the statistics upside down

Current Statistics:

  1. Over five million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's
  2. About 13% (5.2 million) Americans over the age of 65 have Alzheimer's
  3. Half over age 85 (5.5 million) will develop Alzheimer's - or related dementia

Facts:

  1. The 100% population of America is currently 323.95 million.
  2. Five million equates to .015% of the American population.
  3. Which means 99.984% of Americans have no risk for Alzheimer's

 Projected Statistics:

  1. In five years the number of Americans with Alzheimer's will jump to 7.7 million

Facts:

  1. In five years (2022) the population of the US wi be approximately 345 million
  2. 7.7 million accounts for .0226% of the American population.
  3. Which means in five years 99.974% Americans will still have no risk for Alzheimer's

Statistics:

  1. By 2050 the number of Americans with Alzheimer's will jump to 16 million.

Facts:

  1. United Nations projects by the year 2050 the U.S. population will approximate 402 million
  2. 16 million Americans will have alzheimer's .04% of the population (assuming no cure is found between now and then)
  3. Which means 99.96% of Americans will still have no risk for Alzheimer's

Statistics may be 100% accurate and delivered wrapped in a package of complete, unadulterated BS complete with pretty bow ribbons on top.

As for the rest of the above advertisment claims -

  • Why is this disease growing so rapidly?

Define rapidly

  • Population is "graying" citizens living much longer than any previous generation.
  • Fastest growing segment of our population is the over 80 age group, odds of becoming demented for the very elderly are much higher.
  • By about .015% higher...

All of which means...In 2050, 99.96% of Americans will still have no risk for Alzheimer's.

Don't worry, be happy