Because the majority of advertising materials in the USSR were of a political propagandizing nature, the many examples of simple commercial advertising are often overlooked.
These ads for goods and services were pervasive, with many having been published during the New Economic Politics (NEP) period (1921-1928). Later on, various government enterprises produced their own advertisement campaigns. Word of mouth advertising campaigns were also spread less formally by private masters and “hack workers” while radio ads were fairly common.
While many of the ad slogans produced in this era were rather uniform, (All smoke the certain brand’s cigarettes, Ask for that everywhere, Eat, Drink, Keep, Fly…), there are some rather interesting if not entertaining quips such as, “Nowhere but in Mosselprom”, “You are not a USSR citizen if you aren’t a Dobrolet’s stockholder”, and the everlasting slogan of Mayakovsky: “Better pacifiers don’t exist that’s why I’ll suck them till I get old”.
These ads present a wonderful collection of the type and style of art that was produced under the creative repression of the times.
The collection consists of ads from both the USSR and tsarist Russia. The elegantly detailed pictures easily distinguish those from tsarist Russia. Generally speaking the posters in whole target the middle class, the main buying sector of the period.
Photo redits – 1