Quote of the Day: the Power of Commercials

In her memoir about life in Albania on the eve of the collapse of the USSR, Lea Ypi gives this description of a family suddenly discovering the concept of commercials:

Whenever my father caught an advert on TV Skopje, especially if it was an advert for personal hygiene, he would immediately shout, “Reklama! Reklama!” My mother and grandmother would drop whatever they were doing in the kitchen and sprint to the living room to catch the last sight of a beautiful woman with a delightful smile on her face who showed you how to wash your hands. If they were held up for a while and arrived when the adverts were over, my father would declare apologetically, “It’s not my fault—I called you, you came late!” and this usually marked the beginning of an argument about how they were late because he never helped with anything around the house.

Lea Ypi, Free: Coming of Age at the End of History

This sounded very familiar. I remember the time when we first started seeing commercials on TV at the end of the Soviet regime. We loved them more than the regular TV offerings. Often we watched a program solely for the commercials. We didn’t really understand their purpose (and frequently the companies paying for them didn’t either) but they were mesmerizing. The life depicted in them was incomprehensible but very attractive.


One thought on “Quote of the Day: the Power of Commercials

  1. I still like the glossy ones with attractive people in beautiful surroundings. Unfortunately there are fewer and fewer of them replaced by average looking or even unattractive people trying to be funny in the most awkward way.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.