Sunday, July 27, 2008

candidate for change, 1952

Dwight D. Eisenhower was the first presidential candidate to use TV commercials, though he was skeptical about using the new medium. Here, a homemaker speaks upwards as if to the heavens, "High prices are just driving me crazy." Eisenhower immediately cuts in and answers benevolently, "It's another reason why I say it's time for a change."

Ike's opponent, Adlai Stevenson, wouldn’t appear on television because he thought it demeaning to a man ascending to the presidency. Instead, he had his daughter do commercials for him, literally singing his praises, adulatory as Obama Girl.

Ike answered this with his own musical spot, produced by Roy Disney, Walt's brother. Note similarity to the animation and opening march music of the "Mickey Mouse Club". Roy later produced "Our Friend The Atom", an animated commercial for the White House's "Atoms for Peace" campaign.

tips of the hat to DKR and BoingBoing

1 comment:

Joker said...

A couple of things:

Not to be a typical guy, but Ms. Stevenson was what I would like to call classy 50's gorgeous. True, the ad is a bit trite, but put into context it might have worked. But against Ike? No way Jose. There was just pizzazz all over that guy that you couldn't touch with a ten foot pole.