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Russia: Ridiculing the Winter Olympics Slogan

The just-announced slogan of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics (“Hot. Cool. Yours.”) has spurred a brief episode of merrymaking on the RuNet. At first that may seem surprising — while the English version of the slogan may sound slightly confusing and a bit corny, it isn't particularly rich fodder for jokes or double entendres.

The Russian version is a different story. In Russian, the slogan reads “Жаркие. Зимние. Твои.” or literally “Hot. Wintry. Yours.” There are several issues here on which online jokesters picked up.First, the adjective “wintry” in everyday speech is generally used in reference to clothes. One of the first jokes about this appeared on Lenta.ru’s official Twitter feed [ru]:

Жаркие. Зимние. Твои. Варежки.

Hot. Wintry. Yours. Mittens.

Other bloggers soon repeated joke, with different warm winter necessities, such as valenki [ru], central heating [ru], and woolen socks [ru].

Screenshot from official Sochi 2014 website. 29 September 2012.

The Russian version of the slogan is plural, which in combination with with “жаркие,” makes people think of the words “passionate,” “fervent,” and “sultry,” rather than simply temperature. This has understandably led to ribald Twitter jokes, where many compared the slogan with with prostitution advertisements. For example, user MereRanna tweeted [ru]:

имхо: больше похоже на рекламу борделя

imho [in my humble opinion]: sounds more like an ad for a bordello

User RamzilSultanov agreed [ru]:

Говорят, девизом Олимпиады в Сочи сперва выбрали: “Зима с блекджеком и шлюхами!”,но в последний момент сменили на “Жаркие.Зимние.Твои”

They say that the Sochi Olympic slogan was originally “Winter with blackjack and whores!”, but at the last moment they changed it to “Hot. Wintry. Yours.”

Also alluding to ads for escort services, Journalist Andrey Kozenko tweeted [ru]:

Под слоганом Олимпиады “Жаркие. Зимние. Твои” не хватает номера телефона и подписи “Выезд. Апартаменты”

The Olympic slogan “Hot. Wintry. Yours” is missing a phone number and a line that says “Private residences. Apartments.”

In a similar key, user NuLool tweeted [ru]:

молодая и упругая. А еще жаркая, зимняя и твоя.

young and supple. Also hot, wintry, and yours.

User kernhohol had a similar idea, tweeting [ru]:

Мне кажется, или тут нехватает слова “Сиськи”?

Is it just me, or is this lacking the word “Boobs”?

Finally, in Russian the word “твои” is much more possessive than “yours” is in English. This connotation seems to have combined with the widely held opinion on the RuNet that the funds for the Sochi games are being embezzled, and gave birth to the following parody one-liners:

Andrey Koniaev [ru]:

[…] Пилим. Тратим. Будет пати

[…] Embezzling. Spending. There’ll be a party

Pavel Ageev [ru]:

ТВОИ налоги потрачены на ЖАРКИЕ ЗИМНИЕ каникулы чиновников.

YOUR taxes were spent on HOT WINTER holidays for bureaucrats

kofadeev [ru]:

Жаркие, зимние, на твои кровные. (с)Сочи-2014

Hot, wintry, on your dime. (c)Sochi-2014

and finally [ru]:

Сочи-2014. Хрустящие. Откатные. Не ваши.

Sochi-2014. Crisp. Embezzled. Not yours.

The evolution of Zoich. Screen shot from YouTube, 8 November 2010. Video by egorzhgun.

It’s unclear what exactly the Sochi 2012 Organizational Committee expected when it revealed the games’ slogan, but if it was attention it wanted, they’ve certainly got it. This wouldn’t be the first time the Committee used online viral marketing tactics to drum up interest.

Last year, Global Voices reported on an especially hilarious entry into the competition to select the Sochi Olympics's mascot -– the hairy winter toad named Zoich [ru]. It later turned out [ru] that Zoich was commissioned by the Committee from a caricature artist, in order to get the RuNet talking. (In this light, the venture was a PR triumph, of course.) If this is the goal today, success is once again within reach.

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