Soviet-era Estonian meat commercial

Check out this 1980s, Soviet-era Estonian commercial for meat and meat products. Now this is what advertising is about: echoing chants, meat slurry being extruded from a machine, and nervous chickens. Link (via Kottke)

Update: This one originally appeared on BB in 2005, thanks to Xeni -- good catch, Mecredis!


  1. Yes, Harry Egipt is the man. Lots of more good stuff in youtube near you.

    Most estonians living on the north side (Tallinn area) had “illegal” access to Finnish TV broadcast during the soviet era by just pointing their antennas north. So there were good reference points from Finnish commercial TV, and this Egipt stuff had it’s high camp value already then. That’s why almost half estonian’s still speak finnish – leaned thru quality children’s programs.

  2. The chanting, the sexual tension; it’s a win no matter how you look at it. And Pinguin Ice Cream – you would be arrested for filming it these days.

  3. Gumbowing asks “Are all Estonian chicks that hot?” Yes, indeed, just like in America and most other nations, the advertising community has a tradition of handpicking the most average, least exceptional men and women, that will best represent the true mainstream of the country. The concept is that the more the actors resemble you, the more you will relate to and thus want to consume the meat that they enjoy so much. I hope this clarifies matters. :)

  4. I bet that is the first & last 100% steak put through that grinder.
    Immediately after filming they resumed 23% steak 50% unmentionable 20% fat 5% carbdoard 2% gristle/lice/hide.

  5. as answer to question “Why did they even need a commercial during Soviet times?” – “kanahakkliha” (chicken minced meat) and “Pingviini jäätis” (Penguin icecream) were both new products and first sings of transition from soviet system to free economy. They were introduced on very end of 1980′ or even in 1990 before Soviet Union collapsed, when shops were still quite empty of products because ineficency of state owned factories and farms and because much products were sold to relatives and friends of shopkeepers of state owned shops. Communist party member had also much better channels to get food and everything, but most people had to relay on bad food or to grow something in small gardens around city in addition to everyday work.

  6. when i was growing up (in a non-communist country) i always wondered why the local electricity/gas/water utilities needed to advertise when there wasn’t an alternative to choose. come to think of it… there was only one phone company and postal service too, and they put a lot of money into their ads.

  7. I really think they were on to something. Avant-garde musicians should really try to renew their collaboration with the meat industry. I just wish you could hear the music a bit better over the echo-chant. Its totally creepy.

  8. If I understand the words spoken in this spot correctly (I once spoke Finnish, which is similar to Estonian) they are full of inspiration and imagination: “chicken – chicken – chicken – minced meat – chicken – chicken – chicken – minced meat”

    The work of an advertising genius.

  9. Jeez was it 2005? has the time been boing-boinging away so fast?
    I think the guy who made this has brought more happiness to people than the average soldier does…

  10. They were in my dreams last night. Not that I’m complaining. But I begin to hear the chanting even now…

    …and I’m sure it really translates as “Badger badger badger badger MUSHROOM MUSHROOM…”

  11. Now imagine that commercial meshing seamlessly after the end of Nine Inch Nail’s “Happiness in Slavery” video.

  12. if that’s a reference to census workers and fava beans, it was actually Amarone Della Valpolicella.

  13. Just change the images of chickens in the commercial with that of any other animal, and this could get fun. Mystery meat through a grinder, people eating globs of nondescript meat… perfect.




    Demented, lovely.

    Where are your avant-garde meat commercials? I’d come out of my veganism if Australian chickens were advertised in even a remotely awesome fashion.

  15. Related videos from Harry Egipt stuff are great.

    That one contains a translation too– I busted out the Estonian dictionary for a word, but it’d already been done. Yay!

  16. “Austgyu”….”Austgyu…..” Aust-ralian – Gyu (Japanese meat) Aust-Gyu,Aust-Gyu Aust-Gyu Hakkliha, Aust-Gyu Aust Gyu……

  17. JBANG@36: That’s funny, it had the opposite effect on me. Made me almost want to go vegetarian.

  18. My favourite Harry Egipt ad is for carpets. It starts with a red shag rug, then pans over the rug until you see a series of floral arrangements haphazardly positioned on the rug, and then it pans further until you can see (of course) a completely buck-naked woman holding another bouquet of flowers.

    And then you go and buy red shag carpeting. At least, I think that was the idea.

  19. Harry Egipt: The VJ’s friend — at least if you work the sorts of parties I do. A number of clips from his commercials — including, not surprisingly, the one for Pinguin — are used during the closing credits for “Borat.”

    And that I know this tells you all you’d ever need to know about *my* social life.

  20. Can anybody find a link to the Bill Hicks Coke commercial bit?

    “I don’t know the connection, but damn I’m buying these products…”

  21. I remember when this was originally posted I thought it sounded like a Butthole Surfers song.

    Though “Estonian Meat Commercial” is a good band name, too.

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