Treasure in a tin can - a viral ad from the Soviet era

In 1939, Polina Zhemchuzhina, the wife of the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov, received a high post - she was appointed head of the People's Commissariat for the fishing industry. By that time, Polina Semyonovna already had good experience as a leader, for example, she headed the Main Directorate of the perfumery and cosmetic industry. Thanks to the Pearl, the spirits “Red Moscow”, “spring lily of the valley”, “Tete-a-tete” appeared in the USSR. Frequently visiting Paris, Pearl bought up French perfumes and took them to the Union in order to develop her own fragrances on their basis.

And Polina Semyonovna reacted creatively to the new position. To begin with, I ensured that the fishing fleet was separated from the merchant. Refrigerators were purchased abroad for storing fish, which angered another People's Commissar, Kaganovich, who believed that it would be wiser to spend currency on equipment for the metro. But the equipment was purchased, and the country is beginning to massively produce canned fish. Moreover, they tried to place their production as close as possible to the place of fishing. Already before the war, more than 50 types of canned fish were produced in the USSR.

The pearl convinced the country's leadership that canned fish is the shortest path to food abundance. But the Soviet people were very wary of unusual products - fish packed in metal cans. A lot of canned food was produced, but the demand for them was not great.

Then Vyacheslav Mikhailovich Molotov got down to business. He went for a cunning publicity stunt that modern PR specialists could envy. At a meeting of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Molotov made a sensational revelation, stating that there was a gang of smugglers operating in the Soviet Union who smuggled jewelry packed in cans abroad. In confirmation of his words, Molotov opened one of the cans, and in front of the amazed spectators, he took out a string of pearls.

It should not be surprising that the rumor about the treasures hidden in canned food instantly spread throughout the country. In a matter of days, the goods were literally swept off the shelves. The jewelry, however, could not be found, but the canned fish was to the taste. In addition, the Soviet government actively advertised fish products, as there were problems with meat in the country. The streets were lined with posters praising the cheapness and usefulness of fish for humans. A special fish day was even established, when fish dishes were prepared instead of meat in public catering. Even the People's Commissar of the Food Industry A. Mikoyan said in one of his speeches that he always preferred pork, but easily switched to fish.