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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Strange and bizarre Russian ads from a century ago

It's stuff like this that reminds me of something: we're not all that different from people a century ago.  Far longer than that even.  We laugh at this sort of thing today, but a hundred years from now our great-grandchildren will be looking at our ads for vacuum cleaners and light beer and wonder: "What the hell were they thinking??"

I don't think geography has anything to do with it: humanity tends to do wacky things in the pursuit of profit no matter where it's at.  So it was with our Russian friends in the years leading up to the October Revolution and then the early Soviet era.  And now io9 has compiled a collection of "The Oddest Soviet Ads From The Late 19th And Early 20th Century".  There are many ads for cigarettes (see image) and other tobacco products,  but also for wine, gunpowder and soap.  One young lad brandishes a club as warning against taking his chocolate bar.  A babushka shows off her new galoshes.  An airplane threatens to bomb tsarist Moscow with beer.  And there's one tobacco ad that is a work of visual genius!  It's a great article to check out whether you're into Russian history or just want a good laugh :-)