This article outlines a broad lesson plan for teaching about political advertising. The overarching question that structures the lesson is one students often ask about political advertising: “What makes a political ad effective?” The article first discusses the characteristics of ads that historically have been correlated with success, including attacks on opponents, a focus on public policies, and emotional appeals. The article then considers the perspective of voters. Are voters even open to being persuaded by political ads? Finally, the article discusses recent changes in political advertising, including more targeting of niche audiences and transitions to digital advertising. The article provides a list of resources for accessing ads, both in the United States and internationally.

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