1. IN THE BEGINNING
TV campaign ads were born in the early 50's, when Republican nominee Dwight Eisenhower conscripted some high-end talent- including Disney animators, who incited people to (wait for it...) "get in step with the guy that's hep."
2. THE DAWN OF NASTY
In 1960, Democratic nominee John F. Kennedy launched this ad, painted by some as the earliest ancestor of today's attack ads:
2. VOTE LBJ, OR THE REDS WILL VAPORIZE THIS GIRL
Perhaps the most famous- or infamous campaign ad was "Daisy"- created in 1964 by the legendary agency Doyle Dane Bernbach. Like another landmark TV ad (Apple's "1984) it only aired once.
4. OL' DUTCH
When Ronald Reagan sought reelection in 1984, he dragooned such ad heavyweights as Phil Dusenberry and Hal Riney, whose unmistakable voice graces this spot: "Morning Again in America." With a strategy filed under "A" for "Ain't Broke- So Why Fix It."
5. (BONUS ACT!) THE NEW FACE OF NASTY
In 1988, Republican candidate George H.W. Bush took the 'nasty' of the Kennedy attack ad of 1960, and set the tone for many of the attack ads that are only now seeping into Canadian politics. The only ingredient missing is the inevitable low synthesizer drone:
THE NEXT STORY BEAT IN CAMPAIGN ADS
And in the spirit of Bob Edwards' observation "people will pay more to laugh than for any other privilege"- the campaign that commands laughs will run the table.