The Daisy Girl

The Daisy Girl. Most of us have never heard of her. I was 10 at the time and do remember…She helped a US President get elected in 1964 – before the Internet, before blogs and before cable. Called “Peace Little Girl,” the spot ran once yet created a buzz that is still remembered today.

Contrast that with “Swift Boat,” a spot (actually two) that caused another U.S. Presidential candidate to crash and burn 40 years later.

The spots ran over 700 times in three states and were the subject of blogs and cable news and chat rooms and pundits the world over.

What’s my point?

Somehow we think our age discovered the ability to lob a “bomb” and ignite a media frenzy. Somehow we believe that we created the viral, the video hand-off, the pass around factor and the all important buzz…

You could say who cares? What difference does it make? So what if it was done before?

Ah – but here is the rub. What can we learn from the past? What can we learn from a time when the tools of pass around and sharing were primitive at best and it was the sheer power of the communication to connect; the ability of its message to cut through and the total and utter simplicity of its message to get the point across in a memorable way.

Watch them. Watch them all. Contrast them. This has nothing to do with technology. It has everything to do with insight into the times — insight into people and the ability to create and communicate.

It also has a lot to do with the notion that the Internet does nothing that we don’t do off line first. It just makes it easier or more efficient.

The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect.
~Esther Dyson,

So next time you think about the Web – think about human behavior and what we can accentuate; make better; more powerful and more efficient.

Think about The Daisy Girl and the power of communication in a time when everything was simpler on one hand – but way harder on the other.

Put the power to use as we should; as the world needs it…

What do you think?

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