June 18, 2008

Brilliant and Delusional

A very interesting ad guy named Tony Schwartz died this week. Tony was apparently a strange and remarkable person. You can read about him here.

Tony was responsible for the most famous political spot ever created, called the "Daisy Ad", which you can see here.

The spot was created for Lyndon Johnson during the presidential race of 1964. The spot was unquestionably one of the most brilliant -- and slanderous -- political ads ever run. And was hugely effective.

It implied that Barry Goldwater, Johnson's adversary, was dangerously irresponsible and was likely to trigger nuclear war. It was the granddaddy of all the awful, negative political advertising we are subject to today.

The thing that interests me most about Tony is something that interests me about a lot of artists -- their blindness to the ramifications of their work. In Tony's words...
“For many years, it’s been referred to as the beginning of negative commercials...There was nothing negative about it. Frankly, I think it was the most positive commercial ever made

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