by: Ilya Vedrashko
"In the early 1990s people in emerging markets were thrilled to be showered with a confetti of colorful western advertising images. But, in those exhilarating early post-wall years, ads were not immediately recognized as ads by a world that had been visually deprived of commercial aesthetics since the time of Stalin, and thus their function as marketing tools was initially disabled. Western ads were first viewed as symbols of a conquering political and economic system, later utilized as tools, and eventually found their place as signifiers within a pre-existing cultural context. These misinterpretations of post-Cold War western advertising images had at least two causes: a lack of disposable capital in post-Soviet Eastern Europe and the inability of western corporations to imagine the dynamics of a non-consumerist society as they launched their first global marketing plans in this new territory."