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Monday, August 5, 2013

The Most Powerful TV Ad of All Time?

The commercial that some say changed history aired just once -- on September 7, 1964.

The opening scene features a little girl plucking daisy petals in the middle of a lush meadow as birds chirp cheerily in the background.

The 3-year-old, as cute as a button, counts each petal carefully -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 ...


At 10... an ominous male voice drowns her out and begins counting down a missile launch.

The freckle-faced little girl’s big eyes turn skywards, and the camera gradually zooms in until one of her pupils fills the entire screen -- blacking it out.

At the count of ZERO, a nuclear mushroom-shaped cloud explodes out of the darkness, followed by another, and another, and another.

As the firestorm rages a short voice over (just 49 words), completes the message.

The ad, known as “Daisy” or Peace, Little Girl”, was pulled from the airwaves after just one airing -- but apparently that was enough.

Many consider this ad to be THE prime factor in the landslide victory of Lyndon Johnson over Barry Goldwater in the '64 Presidential election, and some go so far as to say it changed history.

Take a look – considering it’s about 50-years old – what do you think?

NOTE: This commercial was created by copy genius Tony Schwartz and was designed to capitalize on comments made by Goldwater about the possibility of using nuclear weapons in Vietnam. It effectively portrayed Goldwater as a dangerous warmonger and helped Johnson win the election.

For more on this commercial, check out this article from The New York Times: Revisiting the Daisy Ad Revolution 


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