Kostia returned from Russia with a funny ad for Nikola brand kvas that he had torn out of a magazine. Kvas is a traditional Russian non-alcoholic beverage which is an acquired taste for foreigners. The Nikola brand often uses ad campaigns that play off its Russianness and other soft drinks’ foreignness – even its name, Nikola, sounds like “not cola”.

The new ad campaign is totally over the top. The idea is that there is a foreigner, probably supposed to be an American, posing as a Russian and trying to persuade people that kvas is bad, and the Russian consumer is supposed to find this mock-offensive and want to drink patriotic kvas. The ads are written in pretty amusing Russlish. They have a bunch of video clips at the ad campaign’s website, where you can see that it is a Russian posing as an American posing as a Russian trying to persuade people that kvas is bad in order to make them think that kvas is good. A pretty convoluted strategy. I think only a small number of people are in a position to appreciate this. Judging from the comments on YouTube, most people don’t. The website is full of bizarre content – some geek spent a lot of time putting this ad campaign together.