As the election season ends, so does the ad season. With millions spent and zillions of spots, do any ads stand out as memorable? Did they sway any voters? What does Madison Avenue say about their effectiveness and what makes an ad stick in the mind?
Newspapers have long endorsed political candidates on their editorial pages, but in this election, the practice of political endorsements has been met with some criticism. So far, 17 national newspapers have chosen not to endorse either candidate on the presidential ballot.
The U.S. military has long conducted anti-insurgent information campaigns in Afghanistan. But as the U.S. prepares to withdraw combat troops, it's now mentoring the Afghan Army in how to get out its message, particularly through local radio. But it's difficult to tell how it is being received.
From a DVD claiming that President Obama's real father was a communist poet, to small-market TV ads of child readers urging support for the president, this campaign season has seen its share of outside-the-mainstream efforts to influence the election.
In battleground states like Ohio, distant national figures running for the White House show up in person to capture the local news cycle again and again and again. The campaigns' desire to get "free media" simply by appearing is a source of excitement and exhaustion for local news organizations, which know they're being used but can't help themselves.
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