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This is a great interview with Gencho Genchev  about a very interesting trend in Bulgarian advertising. If brief, it notes that since 2005, many of our TV commercials have revolved around the theme of the “good old” socialism.

The idea is that everything used to be better in our socialist past: fresh produce and meat tasted real and without genetic modifications; human interaction was genuine, not online; life was simple and beautiful.

Many Bulgarians over the age of 30 associate socialism with the idea of high quality and high productivity. Not surprisingly, many of the brands that became popular during those times remain some of the market leaders today (these are mostly foods: Regular Biscuits, rose lokum, liutenitza Purvomai). Even when multinational companies bought some of these brands and pretty much changed the ingredients and the production process, the brands still remained and so did their customer loyalty.

I think that not all Westerners will understand our urge to idealize socialism in advertising. Although it’s widely accepted that most people look at their past with tenderness and nostalgia, the Western world often doesn’t realize that those who lived during socialism make no exception.

What makes the commercialization of our past such a successful marketing tool in Bulgaria? Could it be simply nostalgia for the olden days? Could it be some sort of a reaction against the modern consumerism and its overwhelming array of branded choices?

The shopkeeper: “Ooo Pepi, you look beautiful today! The new hotdogs Leki: the same taste as in those days!”

In her memories, the shopkeeper years ago: “Ooo Pepi! They just brought in the hotdogs!”

“Give me a kilo!”

Tagline: Delicious memories. Hotdog Leki.

***

Read my previous post: Why do Americans Have So Many Types of Breakfast Cereal?

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