547 days ago,
"Daisy," sometimes known as "Daisy Girl" or "Peace, Little Girl," was a controversial political advertisement aired on television during the 1964 United States presidential election by incumbent president Lyndon B. Johnson's campaign. Though only aired once (by the campaign), it is considered a factor in Johnson's landslide victory over Barry Goldwater and an important turning point in political and advertising history. It was created by Tony Schwartz of Doyle Dane Bernbach. It remains one of the most controversial political advertisements ever made.
"Daisy" (4 year old Monique M. Corzilius) aired only once, during a September 7, 1964 telecast of David and Bathsheba on The NBC Monday Movie. Johnson's campaign was widely criticized for using the prospect of nuclear war, as well as for the implication that Goldwater would start one, to frighten voters. The ad was immediately pulled, but the point was made, appearing on the nightly news and on conversation programs in its entirety. Jack Valenti, who served as a special assistant to Johnson, later suggested that pulling the ad was a calculated move, arguing that "it showed a certain gallantry on the part of the Johnson campaign to withdraw the commercial." Johnson's line "We must either love each other, or we must die" echoes W. H. Auden's poem "September 1, 1939" in which line 88 reads, "We must love one another or die." The words "children" and "the dark" also occur in Auden's poem.
In 1984, Walter Mondale's unsuccessful presidential campaign used ads with a similar theme to the Daisy ad. Mondale's advertisements cut between footage of children and footage of ballistic missiles and nuclear explosions, over a soundtrack of the song "Teach Your Children" by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (source: Wikipedia)