In Copyranters latest substack, "TIME TO MOVE TO RUSSIA"—a measured review, he's unearthed a Russian propaganda piece to review. He tears it apart and rips it better than a pair of 90s jeans - but what else would you expect?
The ad is a trollvert (yeah, I reckon we should name homespun 'ads' that) first released by the pro-Russian Telegram channel "Signal" available at ssigny - this is a rabbit hole you should not bother to go down unless you're really into Russian language war propaganda with lots of gory uncensored photos and videos. Signal credits the concept to "Nikita T" Никита Т. The Telegram channel has almost 700,000 subscribers where they posted it on July 25. Then they also uploaded it to youtube where it now almost has 123500 views.
It spread further when Russian language media vinegret.cz picked it up here, adding the spoof response video using the same VO but swapping out the images. So, “gourmet cuisine” is accompanied by shots of a moldy bun from the “Tasty and Tochka” restaurant, “fertile land” is shown as a soldier's cemetery, and “vodka” is said over the image of Maria Zakharova. For those unaware, she is the Director of the Information and Press Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation. Nice slap-back.
Meanwhile, in Helsinki, Finland, the leading newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reminds everyone that they do report about Russian happenings, in Russian. News in Russian isn't just published by Helsingin Sanomat, the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter and the Danish newspaper Politiken are doing the same in an effort to get neutral news to Russians.
As it's a digital billboard it shows the headline in two languages, the Russian headline reads; “And in our country, we speak about war” - this may not seem too radical to you but to put it in context, a Russian could get 15 years in jail for even calling it a war. Strategically placed above the walkways at Kammpi, the intercity bus station where anyone bussing it from St Petersburg will arrive.
The above is an official ad, unlike the first, and unlike these below. These posters were spotted by Pirkko Löppönen near the Niirala Russian-Finnish border crossing point in Tohmajärvi.
Pirrko stated to Helsingin Sanomat “The pictures were pretty scary: dead people, corpses on the streets, and destroyed buildings.”
Nobody has taken credit for the posters, there were at least six of them spaced out on the highway. They encouraged reading free press like Swedish Dagens Nyheter and Finnish Helsingin Sanomat, by advertising their Russian news section links in bold black text.
At first glance, one might think the Kokoomusnuoret - the Youth branch of the National Coalition Party - had something to do with these street posters, as they did buy a billboard next to the Vaalimaa border crossing. They announced that here on Monday. The idea was to remind Russian travelers passing it, of the pain suffered by Ukrainians. That billboard reads in Russian: While you are on vacation, not all Ukrainians have a home to return to.
But the kokoomusnuoret has denied having anything to do with the above posters.
Interesting that so many non ad-men are getting involved in making ads in this case.
That "commercial" from Signal says so much about the state of advertising today. The fact that one can easily put together an ad from stock video footage and a voiceover and look "professional". We are bereft of creativity today, all working on stock.
Greetings from Reddit! This top Russian ad is making the rounds again and via that, I just learned that the Russian Embassy in Spain tweeted that film out. Yes, the official account! They did that on Jul 29, which probably helped boost the film's viral trajectory. In case you want to add that.
I did see it spread among prominent Twitter accounts on July 29, and was focused on finding the root - I must have missed that it came from an official Russian Embassy at that point! Glad you added it to the comments, so we have the record here intact, which is what open comments are for. :)
The tweet embed looks a little borked, so here's a screenshot too.