Age UK: shattering convenient assumptions

To be known as the most trusted experts for older people

In the UK, there are almost 11 million people aged 65 and over, whilst representing 19% of the population, they hold over 50% of total wealth. It is a convenient assumption that older people are wealthy, that they live happy, healthy lives, but even if they don't ‘surely it’s not that bad’, ‘I'm sure they have someone’ ‘doesn’t the NHS or local council help’?

In fact almost 1 in 5 people live in poverty, many stopping spending on essential medications, skipping meals or social care. In fact over 50% believe the cost of living crisis has adversely affected their health and care needs.

Age UK, the UK's leading charity for older people had become known for tackling loneliness, but wanted to be recognised for the entire breadth of their services, their Dream was 'to be known as the most trusted experts for older people'.

If only you knew, you'd know what to do

Age UK offers services covering health and wellbeing, finance, poverty, loneliness, exercise and social care. Central to the charity is their advice line, providing expert advice and directing people to the most appropriate support and services.

We needed to breakdown convenient assumptions about older people, exposing the challenges they face and raise awareness of the Age UK Advice Line. The Plan was to ensure if only you knew, you'd know what to do.

Support then shatter convenient assumptions

We launched the campaign with a 60-second film called “If only you knew” with stories inspired by real calls to the advice line, supported by a series of films tackling each individual story/ challenge.

Set to the upbeat tune of Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy by The Tams, the film sets up scenes of apparent happiness, as three older people go about their day. We supported convenient assumptions. As the music stops, the second half of the film exposes the reality of their lives, shattering assumptions as the crushing loneliness, the consequence of being unable to pay for electricity or heating becomes apparent. The films concludes by making clear that Age UK knows what to do.

Our Hustle of supporting, then shattering convenient assumptions, enabled us to create an emotional impact that made people truly pay attention and even better, act.

The results

The objective of the campaign was not fundraising, but awareness of the Advice Line. Although all KPIs in this regard were met, the campaign delivered so much more:

73% increase in the average cash donation.

70% of donations given during the campaign came from new donors.

The reaction on X (Twitter) was immense, with a huge number of people directly tweeting the Conservative Party and PM Rishi Sunak, demanding action.

Channel 4 donated a special ad break during a Dispatches episode looking at the cost-of-living crisis: Age UK was the only ad shown.

The campaign drove over £10m worth of earned media.


1 Silver & 1 Bronze at Kinsale Sharks

Gold Judge's Award at Smiley Charity Film Awards


Age UK: shattering convenient assumptions

It's convenient to think that older people will be looked after by their family, or 'the system'. Sadly many face adversity alone. Age UK knows what to do.

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We'd love to chat


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