Why Does This Kind Of Marketing Work On Russians?

In the back of my head, I keep an ever-growing list of marketing terms that appears to work on Eastern Europeans. These are terms you’ve seen proliferating on signs, billboards, newspaper ads and just about everywhere else since the neighborhood’s demographics shifted over the past two decades.

They’re words like luxury, gourmet, royal and premium. And, in our neighborhood, they’re more often slapped onto things that are so obviouslynot luxurious.

Well, I saw this ad on Avenue Z and East 13th Street for Transaero Airlines, which offers “Imperial” class service to Moscow. But there’s nothing particularly imperial about it. In fact, it looks like an example of Soviet utilitarian marketing, designed by the most talentless 4th grader they could afford.

But back to the terminology.

This kind of marketing – to the outside observer – suggests that every Russian in our neighborhood is obsessed with the appearance of luxury and elitism. Now, I know well-enough that that ain’t true.

But the marketing continues, so Royal Sheepshead Bites – the most luxurious news blog of gourmet information served at a premium to only the most imperial-class of readers – is asking if our Russian readers would like to give some insight into this phenomenon.