From Lyndon Johnson’s “Daisy” to Hillary Clinton’s “It’s 3 am,” Image Makers goes behind the scenes of some of our most historically influential political ads with the people who made them. This series of mini docs was created by Retro Report producer Matthew Spolar in collaboration with NBC News.
Daisy: Political Ads That Changed the Game
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.
Willie Horton: Ads That Changed the Game
The infamous Willie Horton ad placed a nail in the coffin of Michael Dukakis’ 1988 presidential run.
Morning in America: Political Ads That Changed the Game
Future warm and fuzzy ads can trace their lineage to this one. For his reelection campaign, Ronald Reagan employed a team of advertising all-stars, resulting in one of the most famous catchphrases in American politics.
It’s 3:00 am: Political Ads That Changed the Game
After a string of critical losses in the 2008 Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton’s campaign put out a hard-hitting ad that questioned Barack Obama’s readiness for the White House.
The Rock: Ads That Changed the Game
In 2007, long-shot Democratic candidate Mike Gravel released one of the strangest ads in political history.
Smoking Man: Political Ads That Changed the Game
In the 2012 Republican primary, Herman Cain’s campaign produced an unusual video featuring Cain’s chief of staff, Mark Block, giving a pep talk while smoking a cigarette.