Pepsi in Soviet Movies


Pepsico was one of the few Western firms, which had managed to gain wide access to the Soviet market. Therefore, its soft drink Pepsi became a symbol of consumerism in Soviet mass culture. I know at least three instances of Pepsico’s product placement in feature films of the Red Empire.

«Карантин» (Quarantine, directed by Ilya Frez, produced by Gorky Film Studios, 1983) is a domestic comedy about adventures of a five-year old girl, whose frolics throw her parents and relatives into confusion. As if that wasn’t enough, a quarantine is imposed on the kindergarten. The girl several times expresses her fervent wish to drink Pepsi in the course of the movie.

«Прохиндиада, или Бег на месте» (A Rogue’s Saga, directed by Viktor Tregubovich, produced by Lenfilm Studios, 1984) is a tragicomedy about an enterprising research fellow, who actually lives by his wits. The movie contains two scenes, where waiters serve Pepsi bottles to their customers.

«Игла» (The Needle, directed by Rashid Nugmanov, produced by Kazakhfilm Studios, 1988) is a criminal drama about a rock musician, who fights drug dealers. At a bar, one of the hoodlums pours too much Pepsi in front of the rock musician.

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