Nostalgia for the foods consumed in childhood is a phenomenon extensively documented by food studies scholars and exploited by marketers around the world. This article traces the evolution of the Soviet children's soft drink Buratino from its origins in the Brezhnev era through a variety of post-Soviet incarnations. The character featured on the label, drawn from A. N. Tolstoy's 1935 book based on Carlo Collodi's Adventures of Pinocchio, is both instantly recognizable and remarkably protean in nature, combining the archetype of the trickster from the original literary text with a more benign representative of Soviet values depicted in a 1975 film adaptation. Using Douglas Holt's premises in his book How Brands Become Icons (2004), I argue that what would seem like an easy transition from literary character to advertising icon is complicated by the limitations of nostalgia-based marketing, changing consumer perceptions, and lack of clarity in trademark law. The article concludes with an analysis of the marketing strategy of the Kazakh company Caspian Beverage Holding, which has been singularly successful in recognizing the potential power of the brand and adapting it to a new, post-Soviet market.

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