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Special Project

Special Project
From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

The Connecting Power of Music: Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga Join Forces to Fight Alzheimer's

Finalist in Public Service Announcement


As one of only a few artists to produce chart-topping records every decade since the 1950s — totaling more than 60 albums — Tony Bennett is a musical legacy. His hits “I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” “Rags to Riches” and “I Wanna Be Around,” among many others, have earned him 19 Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. After forming a friendship with popstar Lady Gaga in 2011, Bennett’s music reached new generations of fans through the release of their duo album, Cheek to Cheek, in 2014, followed by their most recent (and Bennett’s final) studio album, Love for Sale, in 2021. 


That same year, Bennett’s family bravely announced he was living with Alzheimer’s and has since been working collaboratively with the Alzheimer’s Association to raise awareness and concern for the disease. To leverage this moment around the release of “Love for Sale” and Bennett’s final bow from the stage at Radio City Music Hall in honor of his 95th birthday, the Alzheimer’s Association teamed up with Bennett and Lady Gaga to create a public service announcement to support millions of families as they navigate their own experiences with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. 


The collaboration demonstrates music’s eternal power to connect us; it drives public awareness to spark conversations and helps reduce stigma by leveraging voices of well-known music icons who are openly talking about the disease and encouraging others to seek help and resources.

Strategy and Execution

The project kicked off with the creation of a public service announcement, voiced by CBS Mornings anchor Gayle King, utilizing behind-the-scenes footage from the newly released “Love for Sale” album and the duo’s final on-stage performance together at Radio City Music Hall. The content highlighted the emotional connection of music and the lasting effect it has on a lifelong friendship. Rather than emphasizing facts and statistics, the Association encouraged not only an open dialogue for friends and caregivers, but also acknowledged that we all may know people who are silently impacted by Alzheimer’s or another dementia. Additionally, by leveraging a household name in Gayle King, the Association created a message from a trusted, familiar voice around a traditionally stigmatized disease.


After an initial broadcast debut in December 2021, the Association released a series of collaborative social posts coupled with donated air time from ViacomCBS, to inspire and engage audiences in the fight to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia. 

The PSA was strategically released and amplified throughout 2022 during relevant industry, cultural, and cause-related moments including: building momentum off Bennett’s One Last Time re-air on CBS in January, the 2022 Grammys and Gaga’s “Love for Sale’s” Grammy nomination in April, Alzheimer’s Brain & Awareness Month in June, and National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month and Family Caregivers Month in November. In addition to broadcast placements, the Alzheimer’s Association, Bennett, and Lady Gaga all amplified on social media to provide resources to those directly impacted by the disease and serve as an entry-point to the cause for music fans everywhere.


In total, the in-kind broadcast spots reached over 7.7M households domestically. In 2022 alone, the PSA reached 4.85M households (63% of the total broadcast reach) between two donated ad placements in-broadcast.


Within the first week of the PSA launch, social posts garnered over 88.7M social media impressions — reaching masses through first-person connections and storytelling – and represented over one third of the overall #ENDALZ mentions across social media. Over a year after the initial release, the PSA continued to resonate with people everywhere through amplifications during relevant tentpole and cultural moments. Notably, in December of 2022, the Association re-amplified the PSA, reaching an additional 2.6M individuals and garnering over 5.6M paid impressions, 2M video views, and over 86.8K reactions. Furthermore, in 2022, the PSA drove over 2.2M video views and 123K engagements, directing the public to Alzheimer’s Association resources throughout the year. 


Bennett re-amplified the PSA in 2022 during timely moments, Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month (6/2022) and National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness and Family Caregivers Month (11/2022). When Bennett re-amplified in June, his post performed 2.6X higher (4.1%) than other musicians on Instagram with similar follower reach (1.55%). In similar resonance, his November 15th post performed 1.9X higher (2.9%) than the average engagement rate for musicians (1.53%), speaking to how music has proven to be an engaging touch point for the cause.


“It is through sharing our stories that we are able to break through the stigma related to this disease. Tony is leading the way.” - Harry Johns, former Alzheimer’s Association CEO.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Alzheimer's Association, Alzheimer's Association


Entry Credits