Pick of the Week: Karma Cola's comic strips avoid lazy cause-marketing clichés

Karma Cola: campaign uses strapline 'Good drinks for bad adults'
Karma Cola: campaign uses strapline 'Good drinks for bad adults'

We are all Lesley.

It would have been easy for Karma Cola, a challenger soft-drink brand whose business supports farmers in Sierra Leone, to fall back on the tropes of purpose-driven advertising, which has become nauseatingly trendy in this industry.

Instead, the campaign by Wonderhood Studios taps into a relatable truth: no matter how "woke" we all claim to be, real life often gets in the way of our ideals. I recognise myself in Lesley, the flawed but amusing character who stars in Karma Cola’s new ads about "bad adults". 

I also appreciate this campaign because it’s entertainment, not interruption. As Wonderhood’s Stacey Bird said: "Out-of-home ads are forced on people, so they deserve a good idea and craft." Karma Cola’s comic strip-style executions deliver both. 

Even with a small budget, Wonderhood created something that stands out. I hope Lesley sticks around and brings more attention to a brand that actually does good. 

The work was created by Stacey Bird, Jack Croft, Ads DeChaud and Phil Le Brun, and illustrated by James Papper through Blinkink.

Client Simon Coley, co-founder and director
Title Good drinks for bad adults
Agency Wonderhood Studios

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