1. This ad appeared on page E3 of last Sunday's Inquirer--a breathtaking shot of the sea of yellow that greeted the funeral cortege of the late president Cory Aquino along Ayala Avenue, on its way to the Manila Cathedral. The tagline below the photo, so discreet you'd have to look again to notice it: “Some colors should never fade.” Then a small logo of Kodak Express. Piggybacking on a moment of historic national mourning to hawk a product sounds cheap, but this ad shows how to do it with tact and class.
2. Domestic violence is an issue that requires careful, prudent handling, especially when it's the subject of something so consumerist as an ad. Here's an thoughtful one, by the Women's Crisis Center, that appeared on page C4 of yesterday's Inquirer: a quiet image of a lonely woman on a bus, perhaps about to flee her violent marriage, contemplating the torment she's had from her husband. The ad's masterstroke is to project this most painful thought balloon on the bus window--a horrific image that crystallizes her nightmare with devastating power, yet, with its indirect quality, still affords her a measure of compassionate, respectful distance. The unobtrusive tone is carried over to the appeal below the image: “Denying won't make it go away. We can help.” Then the hotlines to call. No sensationalism there, only a felt sincerity. How often can you say that of an ad?
[Note: I have nothing to do with the ads, the products/services they carry, or the agencies who made them. But they have my kudos for these inspired works.]