1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Social Advertisement in Moscow December 27, 2008

Russians have always been very good at idealistic motivation and inner-propaganda. May be because Russian people are easily inspired by values rather than materialistic ads, the phenomenon of Social Advertisement is very popular and effective in Russia.

Social advertisement (do not mix with advertising in social networks!!) has been around for years and it’s about applying marketing and advertising principles to promote health and social issues and bringing about positive behavior change.

During my trip to Moscow, it was one the things that stroke me and gave food for thought:  the social ads along the escalator in the Moscow tube. I have made some snapshots to illustrate that wonderful phenomenon.


This ad goes hand in hand with the presently strong state campaign for family life  -the poster quotes a philosopher saying “Family is one of the masterpieces of nature”.  Please note the figures on the poster – the grandparent` look is very modern and rather untypical for Russia, but probably getting closer to the modern urban grandparents… Also both ladies looking rather masculine – a new tendency but still not very typical.


“Say no to smoking” – is a simple and good meant ad. What terrifies  me in the modern Russia is the number of young girls smoking everywhere – it seems that they even smoke more than men!! I have no idea why and how it grew popular in the last years, but that is very very sad…


Again a quote of a writer saying ” A drunkard does many things that make him red afterwards” (or something like that)… Good idea, but not powerful enough. The problem in Russia is that drinking is considered social-friendly, and people like to make joked about drinking and generally not to take it seriously. Even this ad is in cartoon style – who will really take it seriously???


The quote by F.Bakon says “Love to motherland begins with family” which is beautiful, but… I was again puzzled by the depicting of the “standard Russian family” here on this ad. The image is rather realistic: the big Matreshka-mother, and the family. Note that the man is smaller!! In fact, it is a Russian woman who leads in the family (unofficially but really), and carries all the toughness of life. But why to propagate that??? Or may be they hoped that people will see the problem? –  Apparently, they do not. I have asked several Russians and no one noticed anything strange about this image…


This is a very general statement, that might appeal to everyone: the famous quote from a popular song saying “There is no bad weather” which can be elegantly expressed by an English idiom ” Be thankful together whatever the weather”. I love this one!! The weather is often nasty in Russia, and it is a good reminder not to take it seriously.

And, finally, my favourite:


This simple and joyful social ad says “Present women with flowers!”  – YES!!! I must say, this idea is being cultivated in the Russian soul since ages and it works! -Russian men do present their women with flowers, now and then…:)

Hope you enjoyed that overview. It would be interesting to see some social ads from the places where other bloggers live… Please, if you do such a post, leave a comment with a link here! Thanks.



P.S: Some links and photos on Social Advertisement here and here.



19 Responses to “Social Advertisement in Moscow”

  1. radha Says:

    Merry Xmas axinia! in Hong kong also. for example in the metro train they use a poster with heart and write the message “do everything by heart to the others and cultivate love always” ….good trend …good ppl 🙂

  2. axinia Says:

    radha, your ad example is a true gem! thanks for sharing and Merry Christmas to you too, dear!

  3. radha Says:

    love u, ah if u want to take another trip come to Ischia ~ we are here until jan 6!

  4. axinia Says:

    thanks, would love to!! But I am going for New Year celebraion to my sister to Gremany… will probably post from there!

  5. Alex55 Says:

    Новости в России

  6. swaps Says:

    Thanks! I needed this. For it presents the humane face of Russia 🙂

    “the big Matreshka-mother, and the family”
    Russian women I hear are tough and hardworking, sounds familiar.

    If they have begun to equate patriotism with raising a family, is the demographic situation so alarming??

  7. axinia Says:

    swaps, yes, the demographic situation is alarming!! But there are good social programms: a mother getting second child will get about about 10.000 UDS (!).
    Apart from that, lots of family propaganda in all media and even the “Day of Love” (I posted in sommer) for strengthening familiy values… I find it really good and important!

  8. Interesting ads, Axinia! 🙂

    But why should Russia be worried about a declining birth rate 😕 The Russians should be glad that they have so much natural resources and a sizeable population (around 140 million people living in the largest country by land area). This would ensure a better life for all Russians and put Russia on par with the developed countries, unlike the backward places in the world. In such places, due to uncontrollable birth rates, illiteracy and the pathetic status of women in society (who are viewed as nothing more than mere child-bearing machines), human overpopulation does not even leave enough space to breathe.

    I guess women in the backward places in the world can learn from Russian, European and Japanese women and produce less children, for the benefit of themselves, their families and their societies. 😐

  9. axinia Says:

    Raj, it is a complex question. The birth rate is declining (in fact, if earlier 2 children was a norm, now it is mostly one child per family, and that is really not that much!!).

    Russian women have good genes and are well educated so they can secure good upbringing for the children, but it is the men who are the problem: men drink and are often not willing /able to take responsibility for a family. The divorce rate is high… Today when many women rise their children all alone, they can not afford much because life has become very expensive in Russia…

    The other problem is that the death rate is too high in Russia – average men die at 57 (!!!) – in Europe it is over 70. Mostly because of alcoholism, as far as I know… So the population is shrinking and the birth rate is not catching up… It is a problem for a country like Russia, because the superiority factor will get lost if there will be only few millions living there :)))

    Take Chinese – they are invading Russia since years, getting married to Russian women in Siberia and raising the new generation in their tradition… I can really understand the worries of the Russian politicians 🙂

  10. swaps Says:

    I don’t understand…how can they (Russi men) abandon such cute kids 😦
    Axinia, if Russians are spiritual, how can explain high divorce rate?? Communist legacy?

  11. axinia Says:

    no, ROMANCE 🙂
    People want to marry when they fell in love…and this is mostly the wrong way, because good marriage should be based on something more…People fall in love, then love passes and then they notice that there is not much connecting them. And then they divorce and seek for love again… Also love affairs in a marriage /betrays are – unfortunately – very common…:((((

  12. Nita Says:

    These are lovely ads Axinia. I liked the women and the weather ones the best.

  13. axinia Says:

    Nita, these are my favs too 🙂

  14. Axinia, it’s good that the Russians realise the threat posed by the PRC’s demographic aggression in the sparsely populated but mineral rich Russian Far-East and Siberia. But like a common cowardly high school bully, the PRC only bullies countries that are much smaller or weaker than itself. It would not dare to take on Russia in an all out war since it’s no match for Russia militarily or strategically despite the hordes of foot soldiers it has. Only primitive wars were decided by the number of foot soldiers so I guess there is no need for Russia to worry. It can just construct a long fence and use technology to keep out the Chinese and deny citizenship to the children of Chinese men like it’s doing now.

    In any case, Russia cannot counter the PRC’s “womb bomb”. Even if every Russian woman has two children, Russia’s population will continue to decline. The population of the developed world will continue to decrease slowly (with the exception of the U.S. due to immigration) while that of the backward world will continue to explode at an alarming rate. And crude, primitive people will continue to kill girl children even before they are born just because they are girls. If you take out China and India, the world will have more women than men. But due to the massive overpopulation and the alarminlgly skewed sex ratio of these two countries, the world has more men than women.

    I think the developed countries are not doing the correct thing by providing incentives to women to have more children. Such a move will never succeed. Instead, they should ask women in backward countries to have less children. This will not only lead to the development of such countries but will also save the world as a whole from the catastrophic effects of human overpopulation.

  15. You have brought an important issue to the front on the first ad – More and more people (even in conservative Indian places) don’t want to live with their parents and in laws! While it is their choice, they must also accept the fact that they are fuelling a trend which will be kept by the future generation as well – making them so very alone in their later years. The concept of ‘Independence’ needs to be curtailed some where or people would say that they don’t even have the freedom to smoke and drink!!

    Destination Infinity

  16. Sahaja Says:

    great posts axinia….i wonder how u have ur camera always and take photos well and i guess in no time and with no prep!!

    Hmm regarding the smoking thingy, ya i too feel very sad and even i feel in england females smokers are far more than men!
    One of the saddest thing is a pregnant lady smoking…i get irritated and feel like going and slapping her hard when i see one! 😦

  17. Sahaja,

    You can slap her hard if she exhales the smoke in your face and does not stop when you ask her to, but why should you be worried about her baby when she herself doesn’t care?

    By the way, whenever I see a worthless bollywood idiot (some of the top ones, not all) trying to promote the habit of smoking among the youth and children after taking huge amounts of money from the filthy cigarette companies, I get really, really irritated and feel like going to Mumbai and putting a bullet through his pea-brain!

  18. sailaja Says:

    Good ads!! especially the first one and the last two are fabulous.

    I agree completely with Raj in that the population explosion should be controlled. Good suggestion indeed. that’s why i said Raj has the capability of becoming a good politician who can march the country towards deveopment free from the fangs of corruption and making it a better place to live. He can also empathize with the atrocities and make an effort to raise his voice against these atrocities be it of any kind. (So do i but i do not express it so outwardly and beautifully as he does)

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