The Daisy Ad

It isn’t very often where a political ad that is only run once gets more notoriety than an ad that is run over and over for all the public to see.  That is the case with this political commercial, which is called the “Daisy Ad“.  The ad’s content in 1964 was deemed to be too extreme and it was only shown once during the Presidential campaign of that year.  The ad, which supported Democratic President Lyndon Johnson, painted the Republican opponent, Barry Goldwater as an extremist.

What is important to note is that the ad is effective because of what is said/seen and what is not said/seen.  What do you see/hear or NOT see/hear in the ad that, in your opinion, makes the ad effective?  (By the way, the voice that you hear before the closing narration of the ad is President Johnson.)

15 responses to “The Daisy Ad

  1. Whoa. That ad made me feel like if I did not vote on November 3 I would die! Awesome use of propaganda! One of the things I found effective was the little girl in little girl fashion counting the daisy pedals wrong, which made me smile, then at any moment the bomb would drop and she would not have a chance to learn the correct way to count. The only way she was to have a chance to live longer was if I vote in the “right” way. The statement that we must love each other or die definitely made me sit up and question what am I missing so I had to watch the ad again. I thought Mitt Romney caught on tape talking about the 47% was poor taste and lost him the election. This ad topped that faux pas but won the American people over in order to elect Johnson, wow. This just makes a person think how different the times are.

  2. This ad was effective because it was sweet and simple. There was no direct bashing of the other opponent, like we see now. Hearing President Johnson’s voice was a good touch, especially with his powerful words, “We must love each other or die”. If this ad was too extreme then, I wonder what they would say about our ads now.

  3. I think what made it effective was the explosion and the mention of ‘these are the stakes…’ ; Although there wasn’t bashing or verbal belittling it was straight to the point. It was simple but at the same time it was dramatic. Stating that “we must love each other or die” was also a very bold statement that implied what needed to be done and to express the urgency of voting, and voting for the right person at that.

  4. It is surprising that this ad aired only once, and was deemed too extreme when compared to the vicious personal assaults launched in ads today. The ads for the Second Congressional District are a good example. Robin Kelly makes liberal use of the word extreme when describing her opponent, Debbie Halvorson’s support of the Second Amendment. The irony of the Daisy Ad is that the candidate for peace (Lyndon Johnson) launched us into a 10 year “Police Action” that cost 50,000 lives. This is not my personal opinion on the war, but an objective observation. I’m a little older than most students, and joined the Marine Corps in 1972, while that war (Police Action) was still being fought.

  5. This ad is extremely effective and influential, even more so than presidential ads aired today. This in itself means that the commercial is unique in the sense that even without the inclined technology and television viewing, it is more than enough to make an impact on potential voters. A difference in this from the political ads run before elections today is that is not seeking to take votes away from the opposite party or to bash the opposing candidate. The fact that he was worried about only his names speaks high measures for Lyndon Johnson. The innocence and simplicity of the ad leaves viewers thinking, “Of course I’m voting for Lyndon Johnson,” and as if there is no other alternative. Because we do not see Johnson’s face and only hear his voice, viewers are left pondering what is actually important, his words and to vote on November 3rd.

  6. This ad is effective, because it shows no matter what you are doing that you should go and vote. When he said,”these are the stakes” he ment that if he was not the president that other men trying to run for president may ruine the world. He wants people to see that if he was not elected president it would be as worse as a bomb exploding where a little girl is sitting at. He wanted be kind of scare people into voting for him.

  7. I think that this ad might be appropriate now to run against Mitt. Maybe it’s time to break this back out of the closet. Of course people got themselves in an uproar back then and probably would again. And as for LBJ, he may not have been an ideal president on foreign policy (though his domestic accomplishments rank among the greatest of any president), but he kept the war from escalating further, which the right-wingers and the Pentagon wanted more than anything . There was a very real chance that the war could have spiraled into a world war if Goldwater had been president.

  8. Ahh yes, we have finally found the formula for the Republicans eventual return to greatness!

    Jokes aside the ad is pretty advanced for its time. Not only was the ad placement crucial in timing but in how the ad, as mentioned, utilized what was said and not said.

    Take careful consideration to the lack of human imagery, specifically neither of the candidates. They do however use the tranquil image of a little girl picking “daisys”, they make mentions of God and love, and they then end with “or we DIE.” They appeal to the individual, on a very deep and real level threat at the time. like i alluded to earlier, very ahead of its time.

  9. This ad makes it seem that the Goldwater was an extremist as the maker of the ad wanted it to seem. There is no need for the opposite party to state that the other party is wrong. Simply saying what is wrong with the other party, using extreme violence (a nuke) and comparing that to a child’s future shows that this Daisy ad was a great influence. This ad also makes it seem as if I do not go to vote, I will put the whole world in danger.

  10. The ad is effective because it is simple and straight to the point. The idea of a nuclear bomb going off and destroying children’s futures and stating that,”The stakes are too high for you to stay at home.” Points in the direction that a destruction is imminent, and makes it a great influence tool, even if it is to the extreme.

  11. The ad is effective because of the fact they had the little girl. Not only the little girl but the nuclear explosion after. After seeing that I felt a little sick to my stomach. To think that that is the child’s faith is scary and I would not be surprised his is how the voters of this time felt as well.

  12. The beginning of the ad is strong for me in that the little girl is counting a flower in the middle of a field bringing in some strong emotions for when the ad turns to destruction with the dramatic countdown and explosion of a nuclear weapon. I think the ad is effective in bringing in intial viewer interest and setting the tone that President Johnson wished to set tarnishing his opponent painting the picture that with the upcoming election its not only important to vote but, to vote for President Johnson who is the solution to this inevitable problem of his opponent made apparent by the ad. This ad is definetely extreme in that it points a very big finger against the opponent the ads draw could be very damaging to an opponent. The ad, all and all is perfect as far as short concise message delivering that could clearly sway a who is on the fence.

  13. This ad is relatable because everyone has done or seen children playing in fields. It makes it intriguing and memorable for the audience. The little girl peacefully counting the pedal makes people happy and comfortable causing one to put the guard down and relax. Then all of a sudden boom!! a bomb goes off and everything flipped upside down It makes the audience wonder about how quickly their lives can change making President Johnson an importance to them. Voting on November 3 would make their lives safe and gives them the illusion that he can prevent all the bad that may come their way.

  14. How many times was Goldwater’s name used in the commercial?

  15. I think the ad started out simple, but at the same time grabbed your attention. I was curious to see what was going to happen after the young girl counted her pedals. In my opinion, the countdown was to inform our country that we have little time to waste. I think the ad was effective, because you can either vote for President Johnson and love or vote for his enemy and we will all die. The ad was strong, bold and left you with only two options. I understand why the ad was only needed to be shown once.

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