Daisy: they don't make 'em like they used to
THE ORIGINAL DAISY AD The original "Daisy" TV ad was produced by Lyndon Johnson's presidential campaign against Barry Goldwater in 1964. The ad implied that if Goldwater were elected he might take the United States into nuclear war. It ran only once.
The controversial ad began with a little girl in a field picking petals off a daisy, counting. When the count reaches ten, her image is frozen and a male voice begins a militaristic countdown. At zero, we see a nuclear explosion and hear President Johnson's voice: "These are the stakes, to make a world in which all God's children can live, or to go into the darkness. Either we must love each other or we must die." Fade to black. White lettering. "On November 3rd vote for President Johnson."
Wow. The new "Daisy" (5.6 Meg MPEG) ad from MoveOn is pretty intense, so I decided to see if I could find the original.
Damn, why don't they make ads like that anymore? Johnson's ads are about 50% negative, but even when they are, you believe them, because Goldwater was a fanatic. I really like the closing line of all of Johnson's ads: "Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are too high for you to stay home." None of Johnson's ads are defensive, but a number of Goldwater's address misconceptions about him -- that he wants to demolish social security, that he is a warmonger, that he's impulsive. Are you convinced to vote for a man because Ronald Regan says: "Do you honestly believe that Barry wants his sons and daughters in a war?...Of course not....Vote for Bary Goldwater."
Update: Salon has thoughts on the new Daisy ad from 4 media critics. They don't like it very much.