Monday, Sep. 22, 2008

Daisy Girl

The most famous political campaign ad played only once, during a September 7, 1964 NBC Monday Night at the Movies broadcast. Referred to as "Daisy Girl," the ad — Lyndon Johnson's response to a statement by Republican candidate Barry Goldwater that he would consider using nuclear weapons in Vietnam — created an immediate controversy and was pulled from the air. But news organizations picked up the spot and ran it in their nightly news segments, increasing its influence by an order of magnitude. Daisy Girl is now credited with helping Johnson defeat Goldwater in the 1964 election. Twenty yeas later, Walter Mondale copied the tactic when he ran an ad that played the Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young song Teach Your Children over similar child-and-war imagery.