That Time Mikhail Gorbachev Appeared in a Pizza Hut Commercial
There may not be a more striking metaphor for capitalism’s victory over the Soviet Union than a 60-second Pizza Hut ad that originally aired more than 20 years ago but continues to get passed around the internet as a fascinating tidbit of 1990s political commentary.
The ad, filmed in November 1997, features former (and final) Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev visiting a Pizza Hut ostensibly located in the middle of Moscow. Gorbachev does not speak a single line of dialogue in the ad—nor does he take a bite of pizza, as he reportedly agreed to do the spot with the condition that he would not have to eat on-camera—but he is undeniably the star, as other patrons in the restaurant notice their fallen comrade and debate his significance to Russia, freedom, and pizza.
It’s not hard to see the ad as a notable bit of now-quaint 1990s commentary on the supposed “end of history” and American hegemony—and perhaps an overly optimistic view of how Russia would evolve in the post-Soviet era. If nothing else, it says, capitalism provides cheap pizza for the masses—and that’s far more than communism could ever do.
But there are layers of meaning that extend well beyond the obvious political commentary. Gorbachev agreed to appear in Pizza Hut’s ad, according to The New York Times, because he was hard-up for cash six years a
Article from Latest – Reason.com