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Five of the best political adverts: Daisy Girl

This week we’re running a series featuring five of the most effective political adverts. Today it’s a trip back in time and across the Atlantic to a US Presidential campaign:

As yesterday’s featured Conservative Party advert showed, often with political adverts a little bit of controversy makes the message go a long way.

That too is true of probably the most famous political TV advertisement, the “Daisy Girl” advert screened but the once by the 1964 Lyndon Johnson Presidential campaign. It starts with a young girl innocently counting the petals on a flower, but then switches to an ominous voiceover counting down to zero. The screen is then filled with a mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion.

The advert played on fears that Johnson’s opponent, Barry Goldwater, was willing to use nuclear weapons in Vietnam. The controversy resulted in the advertisement being pulled – but also in widespread media coverage which spread the advert’s message far and wide:

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