Lyndon Johnson’s Daisy Ad

From Wikipedia:

Daisy, sometimes known as Daisy Girl or Peace Little Girl, was a controversial campaign television advertisement. Though aired only once (by the campaign), during a September 7, 1964, telecast of David and Bathsheba on The NBC Monday Movie, it was a factor in Lyndon B. Johnson’s defeat of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 presidential election and an important turning point in political and advertising history. Its creator was Tony Schwartz of Doyle Dane Bernbach. It remains one of the most controversial political advertisements ever made.

The advertisement begins with a little girl (Birgitte Olsen) standing in a meadow with chirping birds, picking the petals of a daisy while counting each petal slowly. (Because she does not know her numbers perfectly, she repeats some and says others in the wrong order, all of which adds to her childish appeal.) When she reaches “9”, an ominous-sounding male voice is then heard counting down a missile launch, and as the girl’s eyes turn toward something she sees in the sky, the camera zooms in until her pupil fills the screen, blacking it out. When the countdown reaches zero, the blackness is replaced by the flash and mushroom cloud from a nuclear explosion.


  1. Only when a woman, a muslim, and a pro-war junkie are up for vote does a fucking McDonalds deny one a hamburger at 11:00 AM – meanwhile Pizza Hut is delivering pizzas at ten!

  2. Sweet Jesus! This kind of thing is what makes me skeptical when someone refers to the “good ol’ days.” Times were simpler, and our fear mongering didn’t beat around the bush!!

  3. In the 50s and 60s, global nuclear war was a very grave and realistic threat. Perhaps the fear was appropriate.

    The backdrop of the “good old days”, was the knowledge that at any instant your world, and that of everyone else, could be transformed into a radioactive stone-age at any moment, and there was bloody little you could do about it.

  4. Endrju, I’m unquestionably behind the times.

    Through the 80s and 90s the world was at it’s coolest with regards to nuclear annihilation, according to the Doomsday Clock, but I see that the wonderful job our government has been doing at stemming the proliferation of nuclear weapons and keeping good relations with our nuclear neighbors has us right back to 1950-60s danger levels.

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