Weekly Ad Uncoiling: Russian Bear Vodka

Yes, we’re back in a public restroom! (Hi George Michael!) But instead of discussing your shit, this time we’ll be discussing your shit-facedness. Russian Bear vodka apparently placed this poster in some clubs and bars around Cape Town, South Africa. It’s a pretty damn cool idea, using fake Cyrillic lettering. Because when you’re a high-proof spirit presenting a “don’t drink and drive” ad message to drunks, doing so with a little fun and a wink strikes the right tone. But…yes, I have a problem with the execution. “Real Men…?” Really? You couldn’t come up with something better than that idiotic cliche? How bout simply “Comrade?” Or something like “Party Members Don’t Drink And Drive.” The Soviet propaganda-style art direction is begging for something else, right? (Image via adgoodness.)

10 Responses to “Weekly Ad Uncoiling: Russian Bear Vodka”

  1. papercup_mixmaster Says:

    Agreed entirely. My first thought looking at the image was, “That’s clever and well done…but ‘real men?’ Really?” Either extending the Soviet propaganda joke or doing something else would have made this better. I guess they didn’t want to alienate people who would be silly and think it was actually encouraging people to be party members? Maybe? No? I don’t know. My mind does not function in the same way that either ad execs or the people they think they’re marketing to work…

  2. Ruairi Says:

    “Comrade” is good, “Party Member” I think hits the wrong buttons semiotically.

    And that guy looks like Elvis Presley. Really. Mirror Elvis in a Thundercats t-shirt. Just look.

  3. copyranter Says:

    Ruairi: yeah, those were my literally 2 minutes of thought…thoughts. My point being, spend just a couple of hours thinking about it, and the ad writer’s gotta come up with something better than “Real Men Don’t Drink And Drive.”

  4. Bipp Bopp Says:

    Don’t see anything wrong about using “Real Men”, but “Party Members” would be funnier

  5. BlueAnchorNatasha Says:

    Creative placing the letters backward, thus only viewable in the mirror, but more faux cyrillic? Will it ever end.

  6. la mome neant Says:

    “Party Members Don’t Drink And Drive.” made me laugh.

  7. Gaisma Says:

    Btw, I have checked the homepage of Russian Bear Vodka, main page says: „Welcome Comrade, to the latest glory invention from Russia with love…” bla-bla, vodka, mishka, balalaika, KGB.
    Don’t understand why they couldn’t use the word „comrade” instead of „real men”. :)

  8. jont Says:

    Because the ad is squarely directed at people who think of themselves as real men perhaps?

  9. Guerrilla Promos Blogger Says:

    I’m surprised there isn’t more backwards-advertising in bathroom mirrors like this…had they done something like ‘comrade’ instead of ‘real men’ as people are saying above this would be a great ad & even so it isn’t BAD…

  10. brian Says:

    Hi. I was the art director on this job and stumbled upon this post purely by accident. strange. this took us months to develop; the art direction involved shooting a blank sign, shooting rust separately, tea stains, illustration of the men and then piecing it all together to form one aged poster.

    Yeah, the Party Members thing is funny. That would’ve been cool, but we used Cyrillic letters only so that it wasn’t just a case of flipping letters for the sake of the context.

    All these ideas were an extension of the platform, “the fun side of russia”, which of course was a serious tongue-in-cheek.

    Great comments, good and bad always appreciated.

    This should get you all talking… our next campaign was http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/the-world-can-change-in-a-day

    Brian, Cape Town.