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In a 1941 essay in Life Henry Luce famously called this The American Century To which we would add it was also the Advertising Century and the two remain intimately twined Advertising played a key role in powering the miracle American economy of the past 50 years and has had a profound impact -- for good and ill -- on our culture Top 100 Campaigns Top 100 People Top 10 Jingles Top 10 Slogans Top 10 Ad Icons Ad Century Essay Timeline Order Form Are we overstating the power of marketing of brands Not if you believe the late great Marshall McLuhan who said that Historians and archaeologists will one day discover that the ads of our time are the richest and most faithful daily reflections any society ever made of its whole range of activities Nor if youve read accounts of citizens in former communist countries cheering the arrival of a McDonalds restaurant or a Coca-Cola delivery truck brand marks that have become global symbols of freedom and choice though the French may beg to differ For Advertising Age which has gone to press some 3500 times in the past 70 years with in-depth coverage of the ad industry the decision to publish a special issue analyzing the 20th century through the lens of advertising marketing and media offered us the opportunity of well of a millennium We set out to examine all the ways in which advertising has entertained moved and motivated us over the years This issue celebrates and ranks the 100 best campaigns of the 20th century hint Dont think big It also celebrates and ranks the 100 most influential people in the businesses we cover How did we determine the rankings The hard way Beginning last fall we dispatched a small army of researchers to build comprehensive lists of
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