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Vintage adverts from the archive are used in a new digital activity resource.

The History of Advertising Trust (HAT), a Norfolk charity and the largest archive of advertising in the world has launched 

Ad-Memoire, a unique advertising based digital reminiscence and activity resource, designed to help carers improve the quality of life for the thousands of older people living in care.

The app has been developed by HAT over the last 2 years following consultation with the University of East Anglia’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences exploring ways where our heritage can be used in technology to create a service of social benefit.

The Ad-Memoire resource provides access to reels of some of the UK's best loved vintage adverts of the 1950s and 1960s. Some of Britain’s biggest advertisers including BP, Britvic, Ford, Lego,  Nestlé, Premier Foods,  Shell and Unilever have agreed to allow their vintage TV commercials and print ads within HAT’s collections, to be used as part of the service. Ad-Memoire also offers a specially devised ‘Brand Bingo’ game using familiar logos and brand names.

The ads, featuring catchy jingles and memorable slogans, are complemented with activity resources, compiled in consultation with the National Activity Providers Association (NAPA). The service includes regular updates of ‘Ads of the Month’ with puzzles and quizzes appropriate to the ads, replete with on-screen conversation prompts to engage residents and assist staff. 

Dr Sarah Housden, Senior Lecturer in Health Sciences at the University of East Anglia said:

“With Ad-Memoire, HAT provides a focus and support for person-centred interactions which draw upon group and individual memories. Short clips of selected film in combination with related ideas for quizzes and conversation starters can be used to generate discussions which will engage older people and value their lifelong experiences.

Through experiencing it together, younger family members, friends and carers can be supported to better understand individuals. I recommend this resource as a great way of stimulating purposeful interactions between older people of all abilities, as well as across generations.”

Alistair Moir, Archive Collections Manager at the History of Advertising Trust said:

“The History of Advertising Trust is the largest archive of its kind in the world, and our collections have always proved invaluable educational tools. Now, it’s a pleasure to be able to repurpose this content to create a service with a social benefit, that aims to help improve quality of life for older people in care including those living with dementia. Many of the ads in the reels are remembered fondly by care home residents and the resource is a great tool for supporting reminiscence and activity sessions, and also as a form of entertainment.”

Ad-Memoire is simple to use one-to-one on a small screen (phone/tablet/laptop) or in group sessions, via HDMI, Apple TV or casting. Google has added its support to the initiative by donating a number of Chromecasts, to help allow some of the smaller independent care homes to project the Ad-Memoire app on to large screens.

The initiative is now being promoted to care homes and organisations across the country, with the offer of a MONTH’S FREE TRIAL.

You can find out more about Ad-Memoire on Stand D684 at the Dementia Care & Nursing Home Expo, NEC, Birmingham 17-18 March 2020. You can find out more following this link: or email

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