Here’s the first of what will be a running series: the presidential TV spot of the day. Let’s start at the beginning, with Dwight Eisenhower’s 1952 campaign.
This wonderfully hokey cartoon and jingle came courtesy of Roy Disney. It’s all delightfully peppy and cute until the very end, when the Ike Sun rises over the Capitol — what authoritarian imagery!
Eisenhower’s television advertising, the first ever, was masterminded by Rosser Reeves, the ad man who brought us the M&Ms slogan “melt in your mouth, not in your hand.” Reeves, known as the “prince of hard sell,” was the developer of the concept of the “unique selling proposition.”
Reeves’ TV campaign for Ike consisted of dozens of 20-second spots called “Eisenhower Answers America.” In each a “citizen” tosses the general a softball and he whacks it out of the park with a couple of sentences. You can watch them here.