Advertising for the age we live in

I've seen two really creative new ads this week which do a great job of tapping into the times, in their own ways. I always look forward to January when the advertising industry turns over; always a fun time of year for the observant media consumer, but now, as we're facing our most challenging times, it's interesting to see how advertisers are reflecting our global fears, our struggles and our loss in confidence through ads.

And so the creativity abounds. Veet, whose tagline is 'World's number one depilatory products' nailed perhaps the best media placement imaginable with its 'Goodbye Bush' ad in the Daily Telegraph Australia on Inauguration Day. It captured the feeling of that day perfectly, through humour.

Another new ad which isn't humorous at all, but extremely powerful, was created for AARP - a huge American organisation dedicated to improving the lives of people aged 50+. The video ad must be watched in its entirety to get the message. It's been viewed more than a million times on YouTube and in the past day already has received 100k more views. It's about the "Lost Generation" and how young people feel about our role in changing these challenging times. It fits in perfectly with Obama's messages. I'll say no more as I can't capture it in words - this one's a must see.

One remarkable thing about these ads is that through digital sharing tools, Twitter, YouTube and email, the audience balloons, at exactly the moment it should be viewed rather than months or years later. How can advertisers capture this digital impact? Unfortunately the measurement tools of the advertising industry continue to be a real stumbling block - the technology has evolved much faster than the ways in which we measure impact.

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