Selling Communism

Reading a travel website today, I came across a link to the Museum of Communism in Prague. I was searching through some of the photos and other information for a little insight into how the topic is presented. Ignoring the imported American “icons of capitalism”, I adore the discovery of marketing in former communist countries.

I visited Prague in May 1999, but it’s a large city and it had almost a decade to emerge from its former communist shell. Signs of the capitalist grip were everywhere, so I suspect that the material is presented well, in the typical (usually boring) museum style. There are only a few photos on the site, so I can’t get a feel for the whole museum.

The photos sparked a memory, though. They have the drab feel of someone trying to market information without unihibited creativity. Citizens of the former communist countries are learning marketing, but at distinctly different paces. Roaming the streets of Maribor, Slovenia in early 1998, I came across two distinct window displays. A clothing store display depicted two women kissing, while a department store display featured boxes of soap.

I would love to traverse the brain of someone who walks by that department store window and thinks “Ooooooh. Soap!”.