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This chapter discusses socialist commercials as ideological and economic anomalies that defied the regimes’ official images of themselves, retroactively upsetting easy Cold War stereotypes about socialism. Television ads reveal the underlying commercial infrastructure within state socialism, which developed into a semiofficial matrix by the 1970s and 1980s. The discussion first examines the place media marketing occupied within two of the most developed and commercialized countries, Yugoslavia and Hungary. Then it explains how commercials’ out-of-place quality in the socialist landscape triggered and spread identification with consumer lifestyles across the region due to cross-border watching. Commercials helped even out the time differences...

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