Watch the (very weird) first USSR television commercial


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It’s like they were trying to explain how corn works. Was corn not widely considered food in the USSR prior to this?

(Lady demonstrates how to eat corn at 1:34)

ETA: Apparently Soviet farmers were “suspicio[us] of corn as an ‘alien’ crop,” says Michigan State


“Comrade, what is opinion of yours about new commercial on television?”
“First, I have one question, comrade; what is television?”

It was, but post-Stalin the KGB noticed that people were eating it the decadent Capitalist way (nibbling in rings around the circumference), rather than the appropriately Communist one (not having any corn and insisting it was delicious).


Later on…


I love this old style animation. Remember early Sesame Street shorts using it?


Still, they make some deliciously creative cold salads with corn niblets. Yum!




Isn’t advertising fundamentally capitalist? That might explain why this came along under the Kruschev “thaw”, albeit at its end.

Somewhere I have a set of matryoshka dolls of Soviet premiers. Kruschev is holding an ear of corn in each hand.


Looks like he could have used one of these:


Animated food ? Is that some soft Švankmajer ?


This just cries out for bad lip-reading, which happens to be my son’s latest hobby. Bookmarking!



Perhaps that is why they picked a chef who looks like Kruschev?



“Comrade, why is your President of Vice so full of sweat and desperation? In Soviet Union, comrade, we keep men such as this away from levers of power.”


Nixon was a sweaty guy. It’s why he lost the 1960 election!


“Even as enemy of Capitalists, we are glad that career of his will be going no further than this.”


They were just the early winners in the surreal talking food race… took us years to get to that level of creepy…

Much to our discredit, most of the USA’s early cold war efforts in the science of dancing consumables seemed to be devoted to ambulatory cancer sticks rather than vegetables…


Real World Reaction:



I’m pretty sure that projects to introduce maize started under Khrushchev; they mostly failed because people hadn’t worked out that successful fruition of maize is photoperiodically dependent (I think that’s the term - basically, the fruit develops in response to hitting a critical number of daylight hours). If you don’t get these hours, the plant grows taller and taller but never produces a crop.


‘Advertising’ as we currently see it is a form of propaganda, dedicated to capitalism generally and one participating organisation in particular - so, yes and no.