Daisy Ad

Daisy Ad

Unit 2: Assignment 1
After reviewing the Lyndon B. Johnson “Daisy Ad” and the “I’m Mad” advertisement by Ronald Regan for support of Barry Goldwater, there are similarities between the two videos as well as vast differences. The Johnson campaign committee made a very dramatic dramatization of what would happen if the people of the United States elected Goldwater for president in 1964, portraying that if Goldwater were elected the entire nation would be thrown into war. During this terrible time frame which was referred to as the Cold War, people were constantly on edge of fear of a nuclear attack from the Soviet Union and its allies, many U.S. citizens were accused of treason and blackballed. Johnson wanted to use the fear and gullibility of the nation at that time to gain an advantage in the presidential campaign. Meanwhile, Regan spent the entirety of the Goldwater ad attempting to clear the dirt away from the Goldwater family. But, in this advertisement for Goldwater, Regan does little to retract the statements made by the Johnson ad, instead he tries to justify that the country needs someone impulsive to keep the nation on edge and to keep the nations defenses at a maximum.
Both videos portray attempts by both candidates to manipulate the voters through fear of an imminent attack on the U.S. by Soviet forces. The only differences in the videos is how they catered the message to the viewers, with the Johnson ad being a direct attempt to slander the opponent, whilst the Goldwater ad was a mere rebuke by Regan attempting to defend a friend. After comparing both videos, they fit perfectly within the framework of the critical approach, in that each video attempted to change society; each video wanting the same goal of a fearful and easily manipulated group of voters to allow for victory on their side for the presidential campaign of 1964.

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