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DAISY: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF AN INFAMOUS AND ICONIC AD

DAISY VIDEO

Starting with the Daisy spot itself, of course, there is a wealth of archival visual material associated with the 1964 presidential election. The following are the video clips that CONELAD has selected to include in order to enhance this feature. For more 1964 campaign advertisements, please visit and support the American Museum of the Moving Image's "Living Room Candidate" exhibit.

Peace, Little Girl (aka The Daisy Spot) (:60)
Originally aired during the 9:50 P.M. - 9:55 P.M. commercial block on September 7, 1964 on NBC's "Monday Night at the Movies."
The landmark political ad whose soundtrack conceit of a little child innocently counting juxtaposed with an adult military countdown was devised by Tony Schwartz. The authorship for the visual concept of the ad is still in dispute. For more on that controversy, please see the main article and the Daisy Documents Page.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum (VTR #4568 / MP 1001)

Agency: Doyle Dane Bernbach, Inc. (DDB)
Doyle Dane Bernbach Internal Job ID for the spot: DPTV 426
Client: Democratic National Committee
Account Executive: James H. Graham, DDB
Art Director: Sidney Myers, DDB
Writer: Stanley R. Lee, DDB
Producer: Aaron Ehrlich , DDB
Soundtrack Mixing / Editing: Tony Schwartz, independent
Production Company: Elliot Unger Elliot
Photographer: Drummond Drury, Elliot Unger Elliot
"Daisy" Girl: Birgitte Olsen
Voiceover: Robert Dryden ("Missile Countdown")
Voiceover: Karl A. Weber ("Vote" Tag)
DDB estimated cost of broadcast time: $24,000
Estimated network audience for broadcast ad: 50 million
Award: Distinctive Merit Award (1965 Art Directors Annual Awards)

Little Girl, Ice Cream Cone (aka Ice Cream Cone) (:60)
Originally aired on September 12, 1964 on NBC's "Saturday Night at the Movies."
DDB's effective "scare" spot regarding Strontium 90 features a little girl licking ice cream while a maternal voice informs the audience that Barry Goldwater has voted against the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. The inference to be drawn by the audience is that Sen. Goldwater could care less about the radioactive additives that land in your child's ice cream cone! Trivia Note: This is reputed to be the first political advertisement to use a female voiceover.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum (VTR #4568 / MP 997)

Pregnant Lady (:60)
Unaired
According to campaign media coordinator Lloyd Wright in his interview with CONELRAD, DDB proceeded without permission to produce this spot that features a pregnant woman strolling through Central Park with her young daughter as a female voiceover discusses the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Doing the Daisy and Ice Cream Cone spots one better, this ad implies that Barry Goldwater poses a risk to unborn children. This spot and two others that linked Goldwater to the Ku Klux Klan "bothered" Wright because he believed that DDB had gone too far thematically and without authorization from the campaign. "It was upsetting and wasteful (to produce the ads), I thought." The KKK spot did not air nationally during the campaign and the pregnant lady ad did not air at all.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum (VTR #4568 / MP 980)

Atomic Bomb Test Ban (4:10)
Airdate unknown
DDB's concept for this ad featuring alternating countdowns and detonations was the impetus for the Daisy spot. As Tony Schwartz explained to writer Mill Roseman for a 1988 Communication Arts magazine article: "They (DDB) had an approach for a five-minute spot on the nuclear war issue, with voices counting down in English and Russian; they wanted to know how to do it for a sixty second version." Schwartz then suggested his "counting" soundtracks to DDB.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum (VTR #4568 / MP 1004)

Telephone Hot Line (aka Hotline) (:20)
One of the most indelible symbols of the Cold War is that of the "hotline." This DDB spot makes it clear that this particular telephone should only be answered by a responsible man President Johnson. According to an August 28, 1964 Wall Street Journal article, the original voiceover copy for the ad was: "Who do YOU want answering the phone when Khrushchev calls?"

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum (VTR #4568 / MP 982)

Goldwater Mimes the Daisy Spot (1:02) (CONELRAD excerpt title)
Later with Bob Costas (NBC)
November 10, 1988
Barry Goldwater discusses negative advertising with Bob Costas and briefly mimes the Daisy spot. Is he still angry here? Probably.

Daisy Girl Recount (:22) (CONELRAD excerpt title)
CBS Productions Presents P.S.: "Daisy Spot and Birgitte Olsen" (Eye on People cable network)
September 1998
This clip is excerpted from a nostalgia piece on the Daisy spot that aired on the defunct CBS cable network "Eye on People." Approximately 90 seconds of the segment focuses on Daisy girl, Birgitte Olsen. If nothing else this "in-depth" profile demonstrates that Ms. Olsen can, at long last, count sequentially. For even more depth, please see CONELRAD's interview with Olsen.


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