The Village People
The Village People was a propaganda campaign featuring six creepy characters, which included a black policeman, white cowboy, random Native American guy, white construction worker, white punk and a black general, initiated by the Soviet Union in 1924 in order to gain acceptance for the new Communist regime. The Village People campaign preached equality and, like most Soviet propaganda, put stress on the importance of any "village person" to his community (while, more like his responsibility to Comrade Lenin).
The Village People: 1924-1936
The "Village People" were first introduced in 1924 by the Soviet Union in order to inspire everyone from farmers to industrial workers everywhere to contribute to their glorious revolutionary nation. They served as the official mascots of the Soviet Union throughout this time, appearing on everything from the Communist Manifesto to the Soviet edition of the Kama Sutra, and were the main stars of a 1931 Soviet cartoon featuring them fighting the imperialism of Donald Duck and Popeye the Sailor Man. However, their existence in Soviet media during this time was to gradually decrease over the years until, finally, the Soviet government trashed the propaganda initiative for new plans...
The Village People: 1961-1991
However, a little less than 30 years later, the Village People experienced a rebirth as a propaganda tool at the end of the Khrushchev regime. The propaganda campaign was continued throughout the period of Leonid Brezhnev on into the period of Mikhail Gorbachev and the end of the Soviet Union. However, it was during this time that the YMCA stole the Soviet characters and used them as their new mascots to promote membership. This occurred in the year 1978, and, for a long time afterwards, the Soviet Union had a hard time recovering from the embarrassment of this incident, but kept the characters nevertheless.