Russian party spoofs Apple in election advert

Grigory Yavlinksy Image copyright Yabloko
Image caption "The capacity of this gadget is almost limitless," says Grigory Yavlinsky

A Russian political party has taken inspiration from Apple for its newest election advert, parodying the technology giant's pared-back style.

The liberal party Yabloko - which means "apple" in Russian - released the video on Wednesday to coincide with its US namesake's iPhone 7 launch. With a deadpan delivery, former party leader Grigory Yavlinsky presents "a unique device capable of creating a bright future... a pen! Now your future is literally in your hands".

Sitting casually before a plain white background, Mr Yavlinsky explains the features of the "device" as the camera cuts to a pair of disembodied hands showcasing the pen from all angles. Among its benefits are "no wires, no battery chargers", and handiness for voting in the 18 September parliamentary elections. As the pen is shown ticking a box next to Yabloko's name on the ballot paper, he says: "Just one stroke is enough to solve many present-day problems."

Just like Apple's gadgets, the pen is available in a variety of colours, and Mr Yavlinsky points out that its "ergonomic design" allows it to fit snugly behind a person's ear. "That's why it's so easy to take a pen to the elections," he says.

This seems to have had an impact online - the advert has already been viewed more than 370,000 times on the party's YouTube channel. Most of its other recent videos have garnered only a few hundred views. It's unlikely to make much difference on election day, though, given the party's poor polling figures.

Social media comments have been largely positive - one YouTube viewer describes it as "genius", and another thinks it's "very original and funny". But others are less impressed, with one viewer remarking: "It is very stupid. You'd be better off telling us what you can do to make life better." But at least one person on the VKontakte site isn't fussed about the politics. "I can't say anything about the Yabloko programme and activities," he says, "but they do have a good sense of humour."

Image copyright Yabloko
Image caption No battery charging required for this handy voting tool

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