Political advertisements can be a fascinating window into politics, sociology, and the media.
Most ads, of course, are almost instantly forgotten.
Here are a couple of effective ads from 25 years ago that made a difference and that people remember: both from 1984 and both on behalf of Ronald Reagan's reelection campaign and each tapping into an emotion (fear and hope):
I've seen very few TV political ads this campaign season, but my sense is that almost all of them are entirely forgettable. What's changed is the presence of YouTube. It's free to post and it can be longer than a TV ad. It can also be distributed and therefore is potentially more effective.
Here are two on Barack Obama: one negative, one positive--but both leave the desired impression!