The first brands and services from the West reached Lithuania and its then-capital Kaunas after the First World War. It had to do with the fact that Lithuanians that had emigrated earlier started coming back to their homeland and, of course, they brought their money and businesses here, too. It was the time when Lithuanian advertising culture was born – witty, neat, blatant, and, quite often, politically incorrect. Inspired by the American dream, Lithuanian editors and illustrators started working on their own distinct style of advertising for both imported and locally made goods.
In, 2015, lot of brilliant examples of interwar advertising were published in a book called ‘Tarpukario Lietuvos reklama’ (‘Interwar Lithuanian Advertising’). The mastermind behind the project is Ramūnas Minkevičius who simply fell in love with this part of interwar culture in Lithuania – and decided to share the feeling with everyone else. The book was awarded for its design and became a gift #1 for people involved in advertising business. Let’s look at some of the examples Ramūnas managed to dig out in the archives.
As the length of toothpaste in Miradont tube is 2,2 meters and you only need 1,5 cm for a clean brush, it cost 1 cent a day to clean our teeth. What a bargain!
‘Don’t praise foreign until you haven’t tried local’, - says the ad for ‘Drobė’ textile.
‘Don’t waste money on Mardi Gras – make make your own drink from beer extract ‘Alynas’, says the ad, adding you can buy the extract in pharmacies, among other places.
'- Here’s a gift every woman will be jealous for, my dear. – Yes. I have known for a long time sewing machines from ‘Lietūkis’ is the most valuable gift for a woman.'
This one’s advertising a Buick reseller in downtown Kaunas.
‘I buy everything at the ‘Support’ stores’
‘My advice is not to smoke at all, but if you do, choose ‘Mokka’ for their pleasant aroma
This is depicting ‘My mate’, a tobacco brand that has apparently knocked the rest of the brands of the market!
'It's nicer to smoke when you chew some Wrigley's after that', says the ad, assuring the gum will refresh your breath and help avoid the dry feeling.
A radioactive face cream... A miracle in the cosmetics world! Apparently radium made you younger during the interbellum.
... and a radio itself, if only produced by Philps, was the symbol of beauty and quality.