William Maynard of Bates Advertising said, “Most good copywriters fall into two categories: poets and killers. Poets see an ad as an end. Killers see it as a means to an end.” David Ogilvy, whom many call the father of modern advertising, added, “If you are both killer and poet, you get rich.”   We believe in ninja advertising (substituting perhaps the notion of “hunter” for “killer,” for the hunting rifle has not only caught game, but has stirred the lyre of many great Russian writers— one need not go much farther than Ivan Turgenev’s great “Hunter’s Sketches”).

Regardless of how ad writers try to classify advertisement as an independent art form, it is always secondary to real culture: painting, photography, film, and literature. David Ogilvy also said that “the best advertisement sells the product without advertising. Without, in other words, calling attention to itself.”  Can any modern ad writers claim to have achieved the magical effect achieved by Pushkin in these lines from Eugene Onegin that have,for two centuries, been serving as a wonderful advertisement for the watch company Breguet?

“Still in his morning coat attired,
Onegin dons his Bolivar
And rides out on the boulevard
And joys in its expanse untired,
Till his Breguet with sleepless chime
Reminds him that it’s time to dine.
And yet more goblets thirst commands
To slake the fire of steaks well-done
But the Breguet’s inerrant hands
Tell us a new ballet’s begun.”

Strictly speaking, we are not an advertising agency at all. Instead, we are a media company which specializes in creating television films, publishing books and magazines, and assisting companies and think tanks in achieving their promotional and informational goals. For us what matters is the quality of the main product, and not the quantity of advertising resources. We are not desperate for adwork, but accept it purely for the pleasure of the hunt, as it were.   Thus, when we try to create a slogan, clip, promotional film, or infomercial, we do it with zest, putting together all our cross-cultural knowledge not only of Russian and Anglo-American culture, but also of world culture in general, supplementing our training, intuition, and exacting standards with years of know-how.

That’s why I believe we can offer you something that mere ad agencies, with their commercial approach, cannot, because philosophically we agree with David Ogilvy that “advertising in the end cannot help to sell an inferior product” and yet “there is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements.”   What works for promoting products, brands, trademarks, countries, or regions? Above all: zest, talented and memorable ideas.

I remember the time I was buying my first car. I couldn’t afford to spend money on a “brand name”back then, and I was trying to choose from among the available “economy” cars. Naturally,  most of the information available to consumers like me at that time came from advertising. And even though most of the television and print ads were trumpeting other brands, I chose myself a Renault—and why? Because the other ads were pushing their products too much.

And meanwhile, in the back of my head I could still hear some lines by the poet Mayakovsky: “There’s no escaping scurvy gossip / You’ll just have to forgive me, folks/ I’m back from Paris with no perfume / or necktie, but with a new Renault!”

Mayakovsky was not just a poet, but one of the finest advertisers of the 20th century: all Russians know his slogan “It’s nowhere, if it’s not in Mosselprom.” This is both a line of poetry and  a “psychogram”. It is both a slogan (from the Gaelic “sluagh-ghairm” meaning war cry) and a password. You will never forget it, and it stays with you long after the product no longer exists.

If you become our client, your advertising will also be bright, powerful, and memorable - poetic, yet landing right on target. We always avoid dead language, and won’t be caught dead using jargon, or technobabble. Words like “content”, “format”, “planned audience”— will those move us in our hearts?   No!   Can they be fun? Never! We prefer to play, to work with joy, and always, while having great fun, to aim straight for the bull’s-eye, because, when all is said and done — it’s not only fun, but it works!

Happy hunting! If you are interested in improving the quality of your advertising, please contact us using the form below.

Sincerely yours,
Alexander Korobko