Musings —07.12.2016 07:50 AM—
So sayeth NBC:
Perhaps the most famous political ad of all time, this early television spot ran on air just once but generated enough media coverage to become a real factor in the 1964 presidential election. President Lyndon Johnson, who had been elevated to Commander in Chief after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, was seeking voters’ stamp of approval on his own presidency. In the run up to the general election, the Democratic Party had split over his embrace of civil rights legislation, among other issues. But Republicans nominated conservative Senator Barry Goldwater after a bitter primary that pitted the establishment of the party against the conservative wing. And while Goldwater’s hard line anti-Soviet rhetoric and his language of “extremism in the defense of liberty” made him a hero to a budding conservative movement, it also gave Johnson an opening to use this stark and blunt ad to help him easily win the general election in November.
Reading that, you will perhaps agree with my view that Democrats need to do in 2016 what they did in 1964 – and kick the living shit out of Donald Trump, who makes Goldwater look like a (now-finally-onside) Bernie Sanders.
Why was Daisy so effective? Here’s a (emphasis added) snippet from my book, Fight The Right:
In his book The Responsive Chord, Schwartz suggests that “Daisy” was effective because it stirred up powerful, unarticulated emotions among those who saw the spot. It went deep, deep into the collective psyche of Americans, and spoke to values. “The best political commercials are similar to Rorschach patterns,” he writes. “They do not tell the viewer anything. They surface his feelings and provide a context for him to express those feelings.”
The point of “Daisy,” he explains, is not merely to develop a communications strategy, or to try and get one’s message across. Those are ad agency clichés that don’t begin to capture what Schwartz wanted to achieve. What the best messaging – values messaging – does is begin with messages that already have resonance in a person’s emotional makeup. Values that are already there. The objective, he says, is not simply to order one’s words in a beguiling way, or to invoke the word “values” without every fully understanding what it means. It can’t be emphasized enough: with values messaging, the objective is to stir up deeply felt feelings that are now (and likely have always been) present in a person’s deepest psyche.
Ipso facto, Trump: even his most hardcore supporters have some deep-down, deeply-held misgivings about the guy. Find out what those are, surface them, and beat the bilious bastard to Hell with ’em.
That’s how Daisy won, and how Clinton will win, too.