The presidential campaigns of
1 The star of the most famous political ad in U.S. history didn't see the ad until more than 35 years later. In President
2 "Daisy" aired as a paid ad only once but was replayed many times in news reports. These days, political ads sometimes are posted online and get mentioned in news reports without any ad buy at all. That used to be called "free media," but political consultants didn't like the perception that they were being paid good money for something that was "free." So they rebranded it as "earned media," because the consultants' cleverness had "earned" such notice.
3 It didn't take long for our esteemed Founding Fathers to go negative. The weapon of choice was the handbill. These campaign screeds were easily printed and widely distributed. In their personal, vicious and baseless attacks, they make today's TV ads seem downright friendly. Gen. Andrew Jackson was the target of particularly nasty attack handbills in the 1828 campaign against
4 One of the most unusual campaign ads ridiculed 1968 vice presidential candidate Spiro T. Agnew, known for ethnic slurs and the memorable quote "If you've seen one slum, you've seen them all." The ad — created by the man behind the "Daisy" ad, Tony Schwartz — showed a TV set with the words "Agnew for vice president?" while a person in the background laughed uproariously.
5 Political ads for Chicago Mayor
6 In Chicago's 1983 campaign that led to the election of Harold Washington as the city's first black mayor, white opponent Bernard Epton was blasted for his ad slogan "Before it's too late." Few accepted Epton's explanation that the slogan was not about race and was developed before the primary, when he thought his opponent would be Jane Byrne. Washington made his own appeal to race, with a TV commercial that showed images of the
7 A TV ad for Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson's 1952 presidential bid featured a jazzy song called "I Love the Gov," with a woman singing:
I'd rather have a man with a hole in his shoe
Than a hole in everything he says
I'd rather have a man who knows what to do when he gets to be the prez
I love the Gov, the governor of Illinois
He is the guy that brings the dove of peace and joy
When Illinois the
He is the one who told all the crooks, "Get lost"
Adlai, love you madly
And what you did for your own great state
You're going to do for the rest of the 48 …
8 The 2010 U.S. Senate campaign in Delaware added a rule to the political playbook: Avoid issuing denials concerning witchcraft. In her book "Troublemaker," Republican candidate
9 Warren Harding is considered by some to be one of the nation's worst presidents. But in turning to Albert Lasker, a Chicago adman considered the father of modern advertising, he proved in 1920 to be a visionary political campaigner. One of Lasker's big breakthroughs was to enlist celebrities such as
10 How much those celebrities actually sway voters is often unclear, but one
Mark Jacob is a deputy metro editor for the Tribune; Stephan Benzkofer is the paper's weekend editor.