­Visionary advertizing: Soviet ad festival

The program at Winzavod’s Cinema Club is breathing life back into a now-defunct Soviet life. Starting from September 1, it will be screening Soviet ads reminding us how “unclouded” life was back in the days of the USSR.

So why would a simple series of TV commercials from the 1970s-1980s span two weeks, one may wonder?

In the USSR, ads were a bit longer than today. In fact, it would be impossible to imagine anything of that length on TV today. Running from three minutes up to hair-raising 40 minutes long, the items were more like short films than ads. Prominent directors of the day were commissioned to create them, while well-known actors lectured us about how irreplaceable Soviet furniture was, or held forth on the health-giving properties of domestic soda.

The whole idea behind the Soviet ads, even in difficult times of scarcity, was to show that domestic industry was in good working order and capable of providing for the needs of each and every Soviet “comrade”. Of course it was all part of the vast propaganda mechanism which operated with such well-oiled efficiency in the USSR.

To bring back some memories of the Soviet way of life in all its colors and contradictions visit the Festival at Winzavod from September 1 through September 14.

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