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November 4, 2009 10:23 AM   Subscribe


 
Can anyone translate the text on this one? There's an interesting hybrid US-USSR flag in it; I'm trying to imagine the context.
posted by echo target at 10:31 AM on November 4, 2009


The sequence of integers from 60 to 69 shall now be referred to as "Mad Men numbers".

That is all.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:31 AM on November 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


Sorry about the url under the link. I accidentally pasted the link into the description field and forgot to delete it. If one of the mods has nothing better to do, maybe he/she can remove it.
posted by grumblebee at 10:34 AM on November 4, 2009


echo target: it says A. HAMMER - American industrial corporation "A. HAMMER" - pencils, pens - Moscow-New York.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:35 AM on November 4, 2009


I've already been putting "Mad Men: ____ Style" in front of every post I read on this site.

Mad Men: Washington Post Fistfight Style.

Mad Men: Soviet Bloc Prostitution Style.

Mad Men: Fruit Bat Fellatio Style.
posted by naju at 10:37 AM on November 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


Those would be Armand Hammer's pencils.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:39 AM on November 4, 2009


what
posted by The Whelk at 10:42 AM on November 4, 2009


The only thing that would make this more delicious is having the text translated. *sigh* it's just a freaking slice of heaven.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:49 AM on November 4, 2009


Think you should? Chloro-Don't!
posted by filthy light thief at 10:49 AM on November 4, 2009


Mad Men: Meta Fi Style
posted by wcfields at 10:51 AM on November 4, 2009


I'd like some frozen peas. And a cigar.
posted by Go Banana at 10:56 AM on November 4, 2009


The ads for American products most likely date back to the times of NEP, when the borders were relatively open and the overall situation was much more liberal than during the following decades. The trade between the USSR and USA was quite busy, with a lot of technologies and expertise being imported from the US (in exchange for expropriated gold). This cooperation actually outlived the NEP - just to give you one example, a large number (more than 500) of the heavy industrial facilities built in the Soviet Union between 1929 and 1932 were designed by Albert Kahn's company.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:56 AM on November 4, 2009


Well, you can't link Mad Men to everything, but some things do work pretty well. If it's retro, or stuck 40-50 years in the past, it generally works.

Mad Men: Politics Style

Ask me how I feel about Christie winning. HAMBURGER
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:58 AM on November 4, 2009


Nice stuff, but some serious ignorance in the introductory text: "The collection consists of ads from both the USSR and tsarist Russia. The elegantly detailed pictures easily distinguish those from tsarist Russia." In the first place, I didn't see a single ad from tsarist Russia, though I might have missed one. In the second place, "The elegantly detailed pictures easily distinguish those from tsarist Russia" is just bullshit; that text is immediately followed by an elegantly detailed picture from the USSR. I don't like the Soviet Union any more than any other freedom-lovin' MeFite, but one thing they did very well is graphic design.

> what

The Russian text reads:

в магазинах союзмехторга

имеются в большом выборе
беличьи манто

"in SoyuzMekhTorg [Soviet Fur Trading] stores

great choice of
squirrel-fur lady's coats"

> The only thing that would make this more delicious is having the text translated.

Let me know if there are particular ones you want and I'll do the honors.
posted by languagehat at 10:59 AM on November 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


In Soviet Russia, you want sex with secretary, you have to stand in line!

On reflection: eww.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:04 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Let me know if there are particular ones you want and I'll do the honors.

That is such a lovely gesture. Unfortunately I'm greedy, I want to read them all.

I believe that advertizing is a window into a culture's soul. I am endlessly fascinated by advertizing, old, modern, international, it is all so interesting.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:06 AM on November 4, 2009


> In Soviet Russia, you want sex with secretary, you have to stand in line!

What the fuck was that apropos of?
posted by languagehat at 11:07 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


It was the fuck apropos of the forced Mad Men references the fuck happening thanks the fuck to the post title.
posted by thedaniel at 11:09 AM on November 4, 2009 [12 favorites]


The one with the penguin is great. I love the Russian imperative! It's so direct and demanding sounding when translated.

BUY ICE CREAM (of this brand name)
posted by zizzle at 11:13 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, comrade thedaniel has it.

Can someone tell me what "Coho3" is? A missile? A bullet?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:19 AM on November 4, 2009


In Soviet Russia, YOU offend ADVERTISING!

Whatta country!
posted by blue_beetle at 11:22 AM on November 4, 2009


It's "Soyuz". Looks like a pen.
posted by rlk at 11:23 AM on November 4, 2009


Coho3 looks like a fountain pen.
posted by mrbill at 11:23 AM on November 4, 2009


Durn Bronzefist: Союз (Soyuz) was the spaceship Yuri Gagarin went to space in. Looks like among a plethora of other things, they named a pen after it.
posted by daniel_charms at 11:24 AM on November 4, 2009


Oh no they Chlorodidn't!
posted by punkfloyd at 11:24 AM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, yeah, I'll be happy to translate some as well. Can't do them right now, though.
posted by zizzle at 11:26 AM on November 4, 2009


Not ever having lived in a communist country, I've always been perplexed when all the companies advertising are essentially the state. It's not like they need to convince you to choose them over the competition.

I imagine the ads would all be along the line of "SHOES: What Else Are You Going to Put On Your Feet?"
posted by adamrice at 11:29 AM on November 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


Adamrice:

"HEY! LOOK AT THIS CAN OF PEAS! WE HAD TO GIVE THE ARTISTS SOMETHING TO DO!"
posted by The Whelk at 11:40 AM on November 4, 2009


In Soviet Russia, it's a time machine, not a spaceship. What a country!
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 11:41 AM on November 4, 2009


daniel_charms: I believe that you're mistaking Soyuz (maneuverable spacecraft, still in use) and Vostok (unmaneuverable spacecraft, no longer in use). Gagarin, and others, flew on a Vostok.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 12:06 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


adamrice: Soviet advertising was all about creating illusions. Ads were one of the few places where real socialism really "existed" (this has been brilliantly described by Evgeny Dobrenko in Political Economy of Socialist Realism; it's a great book, although I can't say I completely agree with him in everything). The fact that advertising existed at all in the Soviet Union created the illusion that it was necessary, that it had a function other than creating an illusory reality; a reality in which advertising was needed because of an overabundance of goods (you only saw shelves full of all sorts of goods in advertisements). A reality in which you could buy anything you wanted - say, a new car - whenever you wanted it. This, of course, wasn't the case - since the number of people who wanted to buy one exceeded the number of cars produced, you could only buy one with a special permit. And while you couldn't buy a new car every five to six years, they were still designed and built as if this was possible, because according to the official propaganda, you could buy a new car whenever you needed one.
posted by daniel_charms at 12:07 PM on November 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


Not ever having lived in a communist country, I've always been perplexed when all the companies advertising are essentially the state. It's not like they need to convince you to choose them over the competition.

It wasn't pure communism - there were elements of totalitarianism and fascism. They used imagery and intimidation to keep people in line. Theirs was a population that violently overthrew the previous regime out of dissatisfaction, remember.
posted by jimmythefish at 12:12 PM on November 4, 2009


These are beautiful - I remember my brother who went to the USSR on a Mobil tanker in the seventies bringing me back a whole pile of Soviet posters. They were amazing; I had them up all over my room but alas, the paper they were printed on, while thick and completely unlike contemporary American poster paper, didn't last long at all but crumbled into dust after a couple of years. Of course I was a kid and didn't exactly take care of them or put them into acid free mats or anything but still it's impressive how these have lasted.

I read a book by an American grad student in Moscow years ago; I think it was written some time in the early 80s. He commented on coming back to the States and how overwhelming the barrage of constant advertising was compared to the USSR, where, he said, there was no advertising.
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:27 PM on November 4, 2009


violently overthrew the previous regime out of dissatisfaction, remember.

Ah yes, dissatisfaction.
From that wiki link:overcrowded housing with often deplorable sanitary conditions, long hours at work (on the eve of the war a 10-hour workday six days a week was the average and many were working 11–12 hours a day by 1916), constant risk of injury and death from very poor safety and sanitary conditions, harsh discipline (not only rules and fines, but foremen’s fists), and inadequate wages
Bad peasants, stop shooting and get back to your unheated huts!
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:30 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


David Hoffman wrote a book which deals with some of the contradictions of Soviet consumerism in the Stalinist period called Stalinist Values. It's a fun book.
posted by winna at 12:59 PM on November 4, 2009


Can someone tell me what "Coho3" is?

It is "soyuz" and means "union." As in "Soyuz Sovetskikh Sotsialisticheskikh Respublik." Abbreviated SSSR=CCCP in Cyrillic.

The spaceships were named after the country, and probably not the only thing named after it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:05 PM on November 4, 2009


I'm confused; where is the redhead with the enormous breasts?
posted by EarBucket at 1:05 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


(the big map of the USSR in the background is also a hint that they're not naming the pen after the spaceship)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 1:07 PM on November 4, 2009


speaking of soviet beauties

here, 1924, Interplanetary Revolution by Nikolai Khodataev, that is, propaganda of the science fiction sort

"A tale about Comrade Cominternov, the Red Army Warrior, who flew to Mars, and vanquished all the capitalists on the planet!"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4dCzqbl2CU&feature=related
posted by past at 1:12 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Funny, I'd have thought Soviet advertising would have consisted of:

"Smoke State Brand Cigarettes - Because You Have No Choice!"
posted by Pollomacho at 1:24 PM on November 4, 2009


past is now my new best friend you guys
posted by The Whelk at 1:27 PM on November 4, 2009


Okay, let me see if I got this right.

These posters are from Soviet Russia circa 1921-196X

Mad Men is a show set in New York in the 60's.

So, yeah, the time periods overlap ever so slightly, but that is missing the larger point.

Other cultural events do not need to be validated by correlation with a television show. I think the discussion has been derailed by associating this thread with Mad Men. The posters were good enough for a FPP of their own, the reference just dilutes the thread for no good reason.
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 1:31 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's not exactly true that advertisements were only used to create illusion of abundancy. There were two periods when state companies were pushed to be profitable - NEP and the sixties, especially late sixties. If you watch the excellent movie "Give me the book of complaints" (one of the best soviet comedies), there are some good examples of drive for profitability. That meant companies had to entice the consumer to buy something in the first place and then to choose their products vs. competitors'.

Essentially it was the same system as in the west, it was just watered down. As a head of a company, you won't make a million but you can get a bonus, a promotion, use a suburban house. On the other hand, if you are failing, you will get chewed out by the higher ups and eventually demoted.

None of that worked really well, because suddenly you have workers who make 400 roubles vs. standard 80-120 and you get inflation, and people working at important jobs like mid-level party management, academia, administration, army officers are making less than an uneducated young worker at a profitable factory, you have to raise salaries across the board and it leads to more inflation; and those workers and not that happy either because shops don't have much to sell; and finally the party loses control because efficiency is rewarded over party allegiance.

Then there's a pushback and that's why there were no advertisements in the 70s and 80s. If you grow up without them, I don't think you ever get completely used to hearing and seeing them everywhere. Especially the worst offenders such as two people on the radio who sound like they're just having a casual conversation about a great new product. Oh well, it's all water under the bridge.
posted by rainy at 1:38 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you liked this, you might enjoy my gallery of scans from a Soviet book about food and my collection of Soviet movie posters. I think it's all been linked here before.
posted by fake at 1:57 PM on November 4, 2009


40 more Russian advertising posters.
248 more Russian advertising posters.

DEMAND SAUSAGES EVERYWHERE
posted by Kabanos at 2:05 PM on November 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


fake, thanks for posting the links - really enjoying going through the posters!
posted by Pontius Pilate at 2:29 PM on November 4, 2009


> my collection of Soviet movie posters.

As I said back when the collection was the subject of a post, at least one of the posters is pre-Soviet. A minor nitpick, of course; it's a great collection of images.

> Theirs was a population that violently overthrew the previous regime out of dissatisfaction, remember.

No, you are conflating two revolutions. The population overthrew the tsarist regime (not very violently, all things considered); the Provisional Government was then installed, which ran the country (not very well) for the summer and fall of 1917 until a tiny group of Bolsheviks (not "the population") violently overthrew them. The Bolsheviks never had any legitimacy not based on their own brutality.
posted by languagehat at 2:43 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


These are very similar in theme to the film posters from Poland. What is it about the Eastern Bloc that inspired phantasmagoric art in pastel colors?
posted by reenum at 3:20 PM on November 4, 2009


That's good looking canned salmon.
posted by GuyZero at 5:49 PM on November 4, 2009


Other cultural events do not need to be validated by correlation with a television show. I think the discussion has been derailed by associating this thread with Mad Men. The posters were good enough for a FPP of their own, the reference just dilutes the thread for no good reason.

I agree. I was just being silly. I shouldn't have done it. It didn't occur to me that people would take my joke and run with it. Duh.
posted by grumblebee at 6:38 PM on November 4, 2009


I'm sad they don't all just read: Shoes, when your bourgeois ideals demand food, we make Shoes! Peas, for those times you really need boots but the production of the people demands otherwise. Pens, damn right. Pencils - They write upside down in space!
posted by msbutah at 7:13 PM on November 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


The third ad reminds me of the unusual story of Darlie Toothpaste:
Darlie (Chinese: 黑人, hēi rén, or "black people") is a toothpaste brand of the Taiwan-based company Hawley & Hazel, which was acquired in 1985 by the US corporation Colgate-Palmolive. At that time the original name was "Darkie". Darky, or darkie, is a term used primarily in the United States and Britain to refer to black people. The package featured an image said to have been inspired by an Al Jolson performance, that of a wide-eyed, smiling dark-skinned Black male wearing a top hat, monocle and bowtie. Because of the contrast with very dark skin, it was a common perception that the teeth of people of African descent were exceptionally white.

Due to changing sensibilities regarding race and racism and efforts by certain interest groups, blatantly racist branding practices common in earlier decades began to end in the 1950s. In much the same way the tobacco brand name Nigger Hair had become Bigger Hare, the name of the toothpaste was changed in English-speaking markets to "Darlie" after the 1985 acquisition. Along with the name change, the image on the packaging was altered to reflect a less stereotypical, more contemporary one in much the same way the trademark character for Aunt Jemima pancake mix evolved over time.

However, the Chinese name of the brand, "黑人牙膏" (in English, "Black Man Toothpaste"), has not changed; in fact, a Chinese-language advertising campaign reassured customers that "Black Man Toothpaste is still Black Man Toothpaste."
posted by Rhaomi at 12:40 AM on November 5, 2009


As I said back when the collection was the subject of a post, at least one of the posters is pre-Soviet. A minor nitpick, of course; it's a great collection of images.

I didn't scan and share them with the intention of misleading. I haven't forgotten your correction, thanks for the reminder. FYI, a friend of mine actually found IMDB pages for every poster there, with correct dates and so on. Someday, I'll update them, but it's a low priority.
posted by fake at 3:57 AM on November 5, 2009


> I didn't scan and share them with the intention of misleading.

Oh, lord, I hope you didn't think I was implying that! As I said, it's a minor nitpick, and I don't care if you do anything about it—it's just that I'm obsessed with things Russian, and can't resist pointing out such details.
posted by languagehat at 9:49 AM on November 5, 2009


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