Nothing has been as sticky. No other advert, print or video or Web, no tweet or blog, billboard or word of mouth, has so thoroughly knitted itself into my merchandise-buying neurons. I'm fully bought-in, invested. Ebola isn't as viral. My wallet is open and its tongue is hanging out.

My vote for Advertisement of the Year 2009 is Lady Gaga's video "Bad Romance," a five-minute self-exploitation film that sells booze, high-end audio gear and stiletto heels as hard as it rocks. Canny and cagey and completely engaged in the business of business, brand Gaga is the first white artist I can think of who has embraced aspirational, label materialism with the kind of gusto shown by hip-hop artists such as Kanye West and Jay Z.

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