Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame: Daisy Ad

There are some video advertisements that our eyes see but our brains don’t register. There are some ads that we forget as soon as we see them. Other ads may have a catchy jingle that gets stuck in our heads for awhile, or even a slogan that we can recite years later. And then there are the ads that stick with us forever; that capture us, move us, and change us. The Daisy Ad is one of those ads.


Released in 1964, the Daisy Ad was the mother of the modern political attack ad. The advertisement was made for the presidential campaign of Lyndon B. Johnson, who had entered the oval office in 1963 when JFK was assassinated. In 1964, he was defending his presidency against Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.

Before the Daisy Ad, presidential candidates weren’t expected to exchange the vicious, emotionally-charged attack ads Americans are accustomed to these days. Take, for example, JFK’s 1960 presidential election ad:


It’s a cute tune: that’s for sure. But if presumptive 2016 presidential candidates Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton ran an ad like this, they’d likely face the wrath of endless internet trolls. (Don’t believe us? Ask Mitch McConnell.)

Political ads today have some teeth to them. More importantly, they have the ability to tug at viewers’ most powerful emotions, like anger and fear. For this, we have the Doyle Dane Bernbach ad agency to thank. They are the masterminds behind the Daisy Ad, and since they hit the scene, the ad world just hasn’t been the same.

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, the DDB agency had a policy of treating advertising like art, not science. The founder of the company would tell his employees “Playing it safe can be the most dangerous thing in the world, because you’re presenting people with an idea they’ve seen before, and you won’t have an impact.”

The DDB agency truly practiced what they preached. The Daisy ad had the impact of, well, an atomic bomb—not only on the political advertising landscape, but on the hearts of viewers. The ad made such a big impact, in fact, that the advertisers only had to pay to broadcast it one time; after that, the news networks picked it up and played it for free.

So, how can you make an ad that’s as powerful as the Daisy ad?

Prioritize pathos.

Appeal to the emotions and values of viewers, instead of simply their logic. Yes, your product or service may have many convenient and practical features. But there is also something about your business that will pull on the heartstrings of your viewers. Maybe it’s that you took over the company when your father or mother passed away. Maybe it’s that you give a percentage of your proceeds to charity. If you can remind viewers of your goodness—of your humanity—then your advertisement will have the impact of the Daisy Ad (sans atomic bomb).

Each Thursday, the Viddyad team will choose a new commercial to add to our Video Ad Campaign Hall of Fame. If you have any nominees (video advertisements that made you laugh, made you cry, stood the test of time, or made you go “WHOA”) let us know! Comment below or shoot us an email at


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Digital Video Disruption and The US Presidency Power Play 2016


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The race for the White House is seriously heating up and, as the front runners emerge, we look at the use of online & mobile video by the top candidates, what’s changed since 2008 and how digital media and video, in particular, are having a huge impact on their campaigns.

If the 2008 presidential election was the year of social media, successfully utilised by the eventual winner Barack Obama, then 2016 is the year of Video.

In 2016, candidates’ ad spend has already gone from $22.5 million to $1 billion. This increase, in spend alone, is proof that digital video ads are now a necessity not only to presidential candidates but to any business trying to gain success. In January 2016 three political video ads ranked among YouTube’s 10 most-watched ads for the first time in history, delivering millions more views to campaigns than to the best commercials corporate America had to offer. 

Underdog Bernie Sanders was top of the leader board with his, now highest viewed video simply titled America. This video, which has over 3 million views, tugged at America’s heart-strings, favouring to show the American people rather than reverting to vicious name-calling tactics many candidates have defaulted to in a number of videos.

Taking a look at The YouTube channels of the 5 remaining candidates vying for the coveted nominations, it could be thought that we have our clear winners and losers.

Bernie Sanders:    115,700 subscribers

Hillary Clinton:       42,688   subscribers

Ted Cruz:               38,460   subscribers

Donald Trump      31,356   subscribers

John Kasich            2,500 subscribers

Unfortunately for Sanders, and fortunately for Kasich, election campaigns aren’t won on video alone, but they go a long way with engagement and getting to know a candidate. The need for engaging video is proven in the fact that at the start of 2015 Bernie Sanders was virtually unknown yet now, in 2016, he has won multiple states’ support for the democratic nomination.

February saw the engagement of the American people with another politically themed video ad, this time in the form of a Bud Light Super bowl ad, in which Seth Rogan and Amy Schumer announce the formation of the ‘Bud Light party’.  With over 15 million views, it seems that satire is taking over the presidential election. And we know one candidate in particular is providing plenty of comic relief.

Since the start of the presidential campaign, multiple videos with varied opinions being expressed have been uploaded to YouTube. While some of these can be considered beneficial to a candidate, they can also be highly detrimental to their campaign. Simple searches can produce a multitude of heinous claims about each of the candidates, which could be the sway for an undecided voter.

While they have little control over the publishing of such videos the best they can do is combat the bad press with their own video uploads. Video has proven to be a quick come back to the negative press that candidates receive, or they may even use it to further dismember another candidate’s policies. As proved by Obama, not only in his 2008 campaign but throughout his presidency, video can be a way to cut out the middle man, and get his point to the public directly, without another’s opinion tarnishing the message.

This is a great message for businesses. Gone are the days where you had to rely on public relations events in the hopes of getting a small article somewhere within a newspaper that few actually read. It is now much easier for a business to take control of the message they want their clients and customers to receive. Video is a way in which to engage the public directly. Those of us who passively browse web pages are automatically drawn to video because of the moving colours and motion. It’s a simple reaction that most people don’t even notice, and before they know it many people have watched a two-minute video on the growth of cabbages in Guadalajara. So surely if it’s that simple to attract a person’s attention, you’d be somewhat foolish not to use exploit video in your digital strategy going forward.

Video spend has increased significantly in the last few years. It’s no longer a case of ‘jumping on the bandwagon’, the bandwagon is moving faster and faster in one direction and if you’re not on it, you’ll soon be watching your competitors riding off into the sunset. Chris Wilson, analyst for Ted Cruz’s own campaign has stated on multiple occasions about it is to utilise video in the presidential race. He even went as far as to say “If you’re not doing it, you’re going to lose” (video).

Video is a great way to promote your brand and engage with your audience. Your audience most likely won’t go out of their way to read an article in order to get to know your brand but they are more likely to watch a video that crosses their path.

You must create interesting content. People will seek out content that they find entertaining. A great example of this is the Bud Light ad. It’s every business’ dream to have a person seek out their ad and to have them do it in large numbers is like hitting the jackpot.

In truth, video is a great way to take clear control of the message you wish to give your existing and potential customers.  Video can boost how you tell the world about new products, an upcoming launch, updates, new features, a new line of dresses.  No matter what your business is, video will grow to become an increasingly important part of how you reach your target customers and take your rightful market share. So why wait? Press fast forward and start playing around with video ads for your business today.

The Role of Video in the 2016 Irish General Election


RTÉ’s Project 500 afforded general election candidates the opportunity to produce their own 60 second political broadcast.

As the political landscape readjusts itself to the will of the Irish electorate, we take a look at the explosive use of video throughout the general election.

Over the last number of years, there has been a rapid growth in ‘alternative’ political options in direct response to the financial crisis of 2008 and the subsequent government policies pursued in Ireland.

Digital online video has become an increasingly popular means of communication utilised by most candidates in Irish politics.  Independents, in particular, have brilliantly utilized video throughout their campaigns. Restricted by their shoestring budgets, video has allowed them to cleverly engage with their communities on many contentious issues with short, focused videos.  Candidates created videos arguing their moral and political stance on many issues including the Right2Water and Household Tax campaigns.  Others made more light-hearted videos involving local communities coming together to create their own version of viral hits such as Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’. Some are using video format as a town hall type tool, educating their communities on upcoming service changes such as bus routes, road closures and realignments.  As the election roared on, these videos were geo-targeted to constituency audiences and widely shared over the various social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter.

Many of the larger parties such as Fine Gael & Fianna Fáil, frequently included video in their social media posts, with some parties pinning their most popular party leader broadcasts or more generic ‘rallying the troops’ kind of clips to the top of their various social media profiles.  All parties posted at least one video in the last 24 hours leading up to the election.  Ireland’s newest party, the Social Democrats, created very ‘funky’ explainer videos about their policies and how they’ll impact on the electorate.  Sinn Féin smartly deployed video both on their website and throughout their social media, showing declarations of election, building excitement and engagement amongst their audience.

In a further indication of the explosive growth of online video in our lives, Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ, created another first when they undertook to create a 60 second personal political broadcast for every declared candidate running in the general election.   According to Declan McBennett, editor of RTÉ News Online, this mammoth task, known as ‘Project 500, went a long way towards matching the broadcaster’s public service ethos.  With over 90% of candidates taking up RTÉ’s offer of producing a high quality online video for them, this move proved to be hugely successful for both the national broadcaster and the election candidates. It was particularly helpful to candidates as they grappled with the realisation of their need to reach a growing cohort of young, engaged voters who recently registered to vote in the Marriage Referendum.  With more students gearing up to register before the election, RTÉ’s Project 500 allowed for students, not living in their home constituencies, to view their nominated candidate’s policies. Both these elements combined to see the electorate expand substantially.

The recent surge in the use of online video by so many candidates and their respective campaign teams has most definitely had an impact upon the results of the Irish election.  Since the effort required to reach as many of the diverse electorate is ever increasing, this recent election shows video is fast becoming the preferred method of choice amongst many if not all parties and candidates.  For the 11% of candidates who opted out of RTÉ’s Project 500 political broadcast video offer, they may well have put themselves at a significant disadvantage at such a vital time in the campaign.  Our analysis shows that almost 78% of those who opted out failed to get elected.  Others have learned to skillfully, and in many cases, tastefully harness the power of video to project their desired message upon the electorate.  With the composition of the next government still somewhat uncertain and talk of a possible second election over the coming months, there’s no doubt that the Irish public will continue to see a steady rise of political video adverts in their social media and online news feeds as parties and candidates alike continue to exploit online video to build their support bases.

Case study: Irish political marketing

We are in the midst of the Irish Local and European elections and over the past few days there have been numerous articles written about the use of election posters, ranging from posters on top of mountains, to apparent poster sabotage. This got us thinking. Political campaigns are marketing campaigns and where are modern day marketing campaigns conducted nowadays? Online, that’s where, but why are candidates not utilizing their online audience?

Irish online habits

There are over 2.3 million active users of Facebook in Ireland. The largest age cohort on Facebook in Ireland is 25-34 year olds, a total of 29% of the entire Irish Facebook audience. While on Twitter, Ireland has on average 600,000 daily users, with 46% of these being 24-34 year olds. In other words, it’s not just “the kids” that are using social media, a large proportion of the Irish electorate are interacting, commenting and sharing their thoughts online, right now.

Candidates are always encouraging the younger end of the voting spectrum to give them their vote, but how many are looking up from their phones and taking note of posters? Wouldn’t a campaign fund be better spent on reaching their target voters through mediums they’re more likely respond to?

There is a major discrepancy between the online presence of politicians and the online presence of their electorate. It’s possible that this might be related to cost, so we’ve done a quick comparison.

Take a spend of a conservative €500, instead of investing this in poster printing and transport costs etc, lets see what it could get a candidate if it was invested in online advertising.

What can be done with a budget of €500 using YouTube Trueview

You can make a video ad for as little as $99 and upload it to YouTube to use in your advertising campaign. First of all, YouTube videos can be shared freely on Facebook, Twitter, Google and other networks, and posted to blogs or websites. This might grow organic views to a level where paid ad placement isn’t needed. By harnessing your supporters, and encouraging them to share your video online, you have the ability to reach your electorate directly in their homes and on their mobile devices. So before you even spend a cent on running a campaign, you can get away with spending only $99 dollars and get your message out to every laptop and mobile device in your constituency.

If you were to run an online campaign, a Trueview video ad campaign (for example) with the remainder of your budget, €400, you can guarantee the following reach…

Splitting up a proposed budget of €400 between the 25 days left to election day gives you a daily spend of €16 euro. With a daily spend of €16 candidates can expect to increase their video views by at least 1,000 views a day, not including sharing on social media and views on blogs or websites. That’s an extra 1,000 people seeing what you can do for them, every day.

How many posters will €500 get you?

Based on some numbers given in this article, (€2,000 for 200 posters) not that many, we must also factor in transport cost of putting the posters up around a constituency which will whittle down that budget even further.


While there is no effective way of measuring the ROI of a poster campaign, there is with video – YouTube campaigns can also be tweaked within minutes ensuring you get the most out of the budget. Imagine being able to change where your poster appears at the click of a button, based off real time data of how many people are looking at it where it is now!

While there’s still a place for traditional forms of advertising, we believe video commercials will be more effective in terms of being eco-friendly, cost efficient and in targeting a candidate’s electorate.

Advantages of video ads over poster

  • Video ROI can be measured
  • Video ads can be distributed through specific filters allowing refined audience targeting
  • Social media activity can be boosted with video as posts or updates
  • Video will attract 3 times more inbound links than posts with plain text
  • After watching a video ad, 26% of people look for more information about the subject of the video

Convinced of the power of video yet? Make yours today at Check out the example below for some inspiration.

Political advertising video