As many of you know, I’m rather passionate about Generational issues across Gens Y, X, and Baby Boomers. Can’t we all just get along?
So I’m confounded today by the recent advertising efforts of AARP. Perhaps you’ve seen some of these ads? “They shall inherit the earth” stories featuring young people?!? Don’t get me wrong, the future of our planet is an important topic – I just wonder how AARP translates these ads and their symbolic associations into meaningful and stronger relations with its members. Last time I heard, their members are people aged 50 and up (who are struggling to understand how/why AARP is relevant to THEIR lives). Sure “legacy” matters, but I have a hard time adding this all up.
To their credit, some of these ads are rather “creative” in approach…as this spot below demonstrates. Without ruining the punch line — it starts “down” and then tries to go “up”. From a story messaging standpoint, I believe you can never dig yourself out of such an cognitive/emotional hole. That’s why anti-war ads and other negative social campaigns fail to ignite the kind of enthusiasm and motivation you rationally might expect. You be the judge.
So great, now you’ve now seen this ad, you might have enjoyed the creative gimmick – but how exactly has your impression of AARP (the brand story in your mind) changed in any way? Isn’t that what really counts?
P.S. This ad placed second within a user-generated contest, part of AARP 50th Anniversary celebration. Again, you have give kudos to AARP for trying some new things and inviting the public into the brand conversation.
P.S.S. For you advertising wonks out there – the format might be familiar, as its derivative who’s original source is under debate. The AARP ad creator gives credit to an Argentinian Political Advertisement “The Truth” although clearly others have gotten in on its as well – see this AXA Financial Internal Branding spot in a similar dogma. What do you think of the format? Are you left inspired or depressed?
— Thanks for our client Caela Farren from MasteryWorks for forwarding this video to me!