Karate shop

19 Mar

I was hunting around for Karate schools for kids in Victoria and I started to come across some pretty funny ads for the category. So off down the Internet wormhole I went.

I suspect a lot of these were initiatives on the agencies’ part to win awards: they had the idea and then hunted around for a karate school willing to hang a poster in the reception area.

Award shows are usually dominated by this kind of fictional stuff. That’s why award show results should be taken with a grain of Japanese sea salt. I’m going to suppress the rant.

What’s amazing is how similar they all are. Every agency took the same approach.  The first thing that came to mind: break something. Not really what karate is about, but convenient for the creative teams. My favourite is the last one, because it actually is funny, not just clever.


3 Responses to “Karate shop”

  1. Z March 19, 2010 at 9:46 am #

    Yeah, the last one is great. Good find, Mr. Brown.

  2. Reg March 19, 2010 at 10:54 am #

    Thanks for sharing, Doug — to your cover email about spec creative for awards shows, there are two sides to the argument, I reckon. Free advertising for a too-small-to-afford-more business certainly satisfies a need on the business side; ability to take more creative license for an agency doing pro bono work surely has a benefit in not being ‘constrained’ by a brand or graphic guidelines, so hopefully these exercises allow the right side of the brain to stretch in an unbridled manner (without taking anything away from the creative and cerebral exercise required to be creative and innovative WITHIN a brand’s tenets, of course!).

    If the above benefits are not enough to answer your question on whether such work “even matter[s]”, I would suggest that if the customer/prospects seeing the work respond favourably (at minimum with a wry smile, or best with new interest/customers for the business), doesn’t the involvment of awards shows or not seem pale — or even irrelevant — by comparison? To turn your question around, does it matter whether the ads were created with the express purpose of entering/winning awards shows, or were submitted for awards after realizing the creative (and hopefully business) success they helped spark? Sort of begs the chicken/egg argument, no?

    Still, your point about ads being created for the awards show themselves is well taken — one might ask if a winning ad was the result of creative done specifically with award(s) in mind, does the AD actually matter?

    Happy Friday,


  3. dougbrowncreative March 19, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

    > Thanks Z. If it was a TV commercial, I’d see Mr. Bean as the newly enrolled student!

    > Reg, I used to enjoy doing these spec ads myself. But then I realized that the truly admirable creative was the stuff done for the big corporate clients with conservative outlooks, layers of approval and board of director scrutineers. There are many great agencies doing work of this calibre, many here in Canada. It’s easy for a shop to build a creative reputation on these spec jobs, but they feel like student projects to me. Not sure it really helps the business in the long run. On the other hand, arriving at a smokin’ solution for a challenging strategy where jobs are on the line is what creates real growth within an individual. The tougher the challenge, the greater the reward.
    Thanks again for sharing your thoughts as they always make me think more deeply about my beliefs and opinions posted here. Cheers Reg.

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