Catchiest campaign ads of 2014: nine pitches that made an impression

What do Barry Manilow, skeet shooting, and driving a car in reverse have to do with the 2014 elections? Well, this campaign season had no shortage of interesting TV ads – including ones with the motifs just mentioned. To be fair, though, it's important to say upfront that a connection between the 1970s pop singer and the Kentucky Senate race happened without formal planning.

Here’s an election-season recap through the lens of the 30-second-or-longer ads that have made an impression, influencing close races for governor or the US Senate. These videos are some of the catchiest of the campaign – or most symbolic of key election themes – and show how both major parties used the airwaves for better and sometimes worse.

1. 'Just one more'

Greg Abbott, a Republican running for Texas governor, describes in this ad how an accident left him in a wheelchair, and how he struggled to find new mobility by pushing the chair up the ramps of an eight-story parking garage. “Just one more,” he would tell himself – describing the determined spirit he hopes to bring to the job of governor.

His opponent may have made the ad’s positive tone stand out all the more by launching a wheelchair-related negative ad. The ad by Democratic challenger Wendy Davis has gained heaps of criticism for complaining that after the accident involving Mr. Abbott, “he sued and got millions” and then “spent his career working against other victims.”

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