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Y&R Campaign Sells Russians on Investing: $3-Mil. Effort Uses Testimonals From Successful Investors By Genine Babakai

MOSCOW – When Young & Rubicam aired its first television ad promoting Russia’s privatization ca

But a few months and several commercials later, the ‘privatization is happening’ campaign is beginning to have an effect. Whereas last October 80% of those polled were set on selling their privatization checks, more recent surveys show that figure is down to 24%. ‘People are beginning to believe in the value of the voucher,’ says Mike Adams, ceo at Y&R/Sovero, the agency that landed the $3-million account to publicize Russia’s State Property Committee’s voucher campaign. Originally funded by USAID through March 1992, the program was extended until the end of June, after which the World Bank may step in to pick up the check.
The campaign – a series of TV, radio and print ads – started with messages as basic as what a share is and has progressed to more complicated subjects. The three latest spots are testimonials featuring the success stories of actual investors. The spots, which began airing at the end of May, feature a Moscow tailor shop, a video production center in Nizhny Novgorod, and a Volgograd beer factory. The testimonials help reinforce the benefits of privatization as well as making the ads appear more authentically ‘Russian’ – an issue of particular concern to the State Planning Committee. Even though Y&R employs mostly local talent and Russian production facilities, they have to be careful not to slip into the ‘too western’ category.
Genine Babakain writes about advertising from Moscow.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)