Tony Schwartz, a self-taught, sought-after and highly reclusive media consultant who helped create what is generally considered to be the most famous political ad to appear on television, died Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 84.
Of the thousands of television and radio advertisements on which Mr. Schwartz worked, none is as well known, or as controversial, as one that was broadcast exactly once: the so-called “daisy ad,” made for Lyndon B. Johnson’s presidential campaign in 1964.
Produced by the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach in collaboration with Mr. Schwartz, the minute-long spot was broadcast on Sept. 7, 1964, during NBC’s “Monday Night at the Movies.” It showed a little girl in a meadow (in reality a Manhattan park), counting aloud as she plucks the petals from a daisy. Her voice dissolves into a man’s voice counting downward, followed by the image of an atomic blast. President Johnson’s voice is heard on the soundtrack.