39 thoughts on “Soviet Ads for Western Audience”

    • Yes. You are right! Soviet and Nazi posters are amongst the best posters ever created! Both are very similar in style and served similar purposes. Both were very important to the regime, and that is why they were made so expressive and good looking. Excellent samples of graphics design!

    • On seeing these, I was struck as to how stylistically similar they were to some images I recently saw from the 1938 World’s Fair in New York, USA. (It may have been called the Columbian Exposition, I’m not sure..) Design style moves quickly around the world, now more than ever. I don’t deny that there are some wonderful pieces of art here. Like EnglishRussia.com, they show a side of Russia we don’t normally see in the US.

  1. I remember back then the choices of accommodation were excellent for westerners. You could stay at the Intourist or the Intourist or even the Intourist.

      • Please don`t remind me these golden memories.Aeroflot broke several speed, endurance and cargo records.her pilots were among the finest of the world.but today,every state owned and private operator crashes their planes on daily basis.the major cause of these accidents are lack of maintenance and substandard spares.unlike the FAA in US,Russians are not able to enforced their safety regulations.

        • Were there any business that existed that were not state owned? Just curious. China is is interesting in this regards. They are communist but American companies are rushing to build there.

          • Well, I don’t know about USSR, but for example, former Yugoslavia was communist country where small private businesses were allowed. “Small” ment 10-20 employees (I can’t remember the exact number). Many shops, restaurants and bakeries were private. Also, private farms could have had 10-20 hectares of land; farmers were usually quite wealthy and had several tractors, combines, and other machines.

          • Strange as it may appear but under Stalin private small business was allowed even after the end of NEP. See “artely” for example. Under Khrushchev at the end of 1950-s almost all those forms of small business were prohibited by the Criminal Code.

            • You are very much welcome!
              Still, please remember that what people here tell you is what they know or think to know and not more, are only an opinion and reflect the individual’s personal experience for the time and place where he/she is or was and the information he/she have or had available.

    • Depends upon the visitor.if the visitor was average tourist,he enjoy just few dozen secret agents of various agencies.but when the so called tourist was conformed spy,he was enjoy full soviet hospitality.from his cab driver to his metro ticket checker.but soviet showed always their human face to every tourists.they displayed fruits of great October socialist revelution.

  2. What clueless soviet committee decided that tourists wanted to visit construction sites, hydro-electric dams and more freaking construction sites?

  3. This Lenin Guy he did love himself didn’t he? his name was all over the place as well as statues of himself kind of remand me of Sadam

    • Not exactly. They started to use him massively for propaganda after he had already died.
      Also, don’t forget, that Stalin was attending clergy school when he was a kid, so he had the idea about how the church and religious propaganda works. So he modeled Communist “school of though” or “mindset” after the Christian/Jewish religion. Lenin as the Messia, Lenin’s writings as the Old Testament and Stalins writings as the New testament. Stalin as a prophet of the Lenin. Soviet demonstrations with the portrets of the Party bosses are almost exact copy of religious marches Orthodox Russian church with the pictures of the saints. etc.

      • That’s ture. After religion was abandoned, there was a spiritual gap in society (russians were always very religious/spiritual) and of course that gap had to filled and most importantly USED somehow. And the image of timeless Lenin was perfect for the Job.

  4. “were almost no ads in the Soviet Union at all, except for the rare cases” – this would be an exaggeration. There were ads in USSR. Of course there were much, much less ads than today. Still I would not call them rare.
    Still, the ads were of often questionable quality and their purpose was not actually clear. In USSR the goods were in short supply. Anything worth using would be bought anyway as soon as it would appear in the shops or even before that (phenomenon called “blat” – you could “get” (dostat’) the goods which were not officially on sale if you knew the right guys). Remember – there was no free market. So people actually considered advertising unnecessary. The authorities nevertheless insisted that it is necessary as it provides useful information to the masses. My personal opinion is that advertising was kept to make Soviet life a little bit lookalike to the Western life, so that Soviets could insist, that USSR is in all ways similar or even superior to the West.
    Another example of this would have been the “elections” in USSR. Absolutely pointless aside from being political show. But it was a tool to create at least a vague impression of democracy to some simple minds in the West and let Soviets to insist that they have what they called “people’s democracy” – the only real democracy at all. (Doesn’t remind you of the Putin’s “sovereign democracy”? )

  5. Certainly a lot less commercial than the West’s style of advertising from the same period.

    But honestly, I find them a bit bland.

  6. Comment by ray
    2007-09-15 06:38:19

    The “SS” on the first sign looks almost like something out of nazi germany.

    I was thinking the same thing

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