Which political ads are the most memorable? Since the advent of television, a major medium of reaching voters, campaigns have made tens of thousands of unique ads for races up and down the ballot. Of these, a handful stand out as critical markers of changes in American elections. This article considers the top ads and their importance to understanding the way elections have evolved. These ads were not selected for their impact on election outcomes, since estimating those effects is methodologically prohibitive. Political ads, however, matter more than their direct effect on voters at the ballot box. Many ads stand the test of time for what they signify and represent.

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