Use of foreign language in media, especially advertisements has grabbed extensive attention from linguistic researchers recently. The advent of the phenomenon in the Russian language too has gained some attention . Ustinova points out that 76 percent of the total advertisement s spots in Russian television are dominated by Russian-English mix . Clearly, English has a dominant place in advertisements presented over Russian television.
There is a definitive intrusion of English in the content and structure of both print and television advertisements. Russian advertisements have been observed to become a giant cauldron of social-cultural mixture that has helped in the evolution of the modern Russian language – as a mix of English and Russian. Advertisements by multinational corporations translated in Russian have been accused of slowly infiltrating the Russian language with English words.
The effect of advertising language on Russian lingo has brought forth a conflict between Russian culture and language. The advent of English words like “email” or “Halloween” has crept in the Russian language through advertisements. Since its entry into the Russian market in the 1990s, the Coca Cola Company has brought in English words in the Russian vocabulary.
This primarily has been due to the advent of English advertisements by multinational corporations (MNCs) who had to promote their brand through advertisement campaigns translated in Russian. As it has been mentioned by academicians, “translation plays a facilitating role as it enables the colonizer and the colonized to communicate.”
Therefore, many believe that the inclusion of English words in the advertisements of MNCs has been a deliberate attempt by the western colonizers to intrude into Russian socio-cultural mix. This paper analyzes the advertisements of coca cola in Russia and tries to ascertain the amount of English words that has been brought in by their advertisements.
The aim of the paper is to identify the advent and usage of English in advertisements of Coca Cola in Russia. Therefore, the aim of the paper will be understand the use of Russian words, or English words, or a mix of Russian-English in advertisements . This will demonstrate the penetration of English in Russian usage that affects the cultural discourse of the society .
The method that is adopted in analyzing the Russian advertisements of coca cola over a period of time is through analyzing the ads of Coca Cola in Russian. 11 coca cola advertisements have been studied from print, television, and internet media. The advertisements and their contextual content are described in the table shown below. The advertisements are analyzed for their voice over, and the language used in the text displays.
Table : Coca Cola advertisement description
Sr. No.YearMediaContentEnglish-Russian Mix
1.2010TVCoca-Cola: History of CelebrationThe advertisement has a mixture of English and Russian. Though the background voice over is in Russian, the song “Wave your flag” is in English. Further, the language used for the textual display in the end of the advertisement had 10 words, out of which 3 were written in English. (YouTube)
2.2008TVThe Power of ScreamThe whole advertisement has voiceover only in Russian, except for the brand name. however, the last screenshot with the texts has been written in English. Words like “Coca Cola Euro 2008”.
3.2004TVDespina VandiThe coca cola advertisement featured during Athens Olympics. The whole advertisement has voiceover, as well as texts in Russian, except in the end while mentioning Athens 2004 and the brand name.
4.2009TVCoca Cola CommercialThe advertisement too has been translated from English. However, the ads do not have any English text in it except for the brand name.
5.2007PrintAll be Cool – Be Inspired (in Russian)The print advertisement has everything written in Russian, except for the brand name that has been written in English.
6.2010TVChristmas AdThis ad shows Santa Claus drinking Coca Cola, and children decorating the Christmas tree with small teddies with Coca Cola written on them in English. The voice over is in English, however, all the visual texts, except the brand name is written in Russian.
7.2005Internet“Be friends with Coca-Cola! Be online!”The internet marketing campaign launched in Russia in 2005. The campaign aimed at internet users in Russia and provided them with 30 minutes of free internet access using ROL. (Just-drinks).
8.2010PrintCoca Cola LightThe print ad has a Russian model depicting slimness for Coca Cola Light, a deviation from the western Diet Coke. The text is in Russian. (MIKHAIL KOROLEV)
9.2010TVCoca ColaThe advertisement shows animated insects stealing a bottle of coke from the garden. The text in the advertisement is in Russian, with only the brand name written in English. (Coca Cola)
10.2010TVCoca ColaThis advertisement shows the historic change in the bottle designs of the beverage since initiation. The years are written in English numerals, while the other texts are in Russian. Further the brand name is in English. The voice over too is in Russian.
11.2010TVFootball World Cup 2010The advertisement shows coke to be the official sponsor of 2010 FIFA World Cup. The texts in the advertisement are in Russian, except for the acronym FIFA, numerals, and the brand name.