[[Originally I posted this blog entry to my blog on November 19, 2009, and then depublished shortly thereafter because I thought it was just too weak to be a blog post. I still have the same doubts about this story of Karate Man, and this blog entry, but I think I will give it a try one more time. Let's see how long I leave it up this time. Feel free to criticize this as a dull blog entry!]]
This is the story of a Starbucks advertising character who was given the axe from Vivanno land. In July 2008, when the "Vivanno Nourishing Blend" was first launched (later renamed a 'smoothie') some of the marketing materials contained a series of active characters. There were 3 different runners, and a bicyclist. The original marketing materials had contemplated including "Karate Man" for this brand new drink.
I am not privy to any details of how or why it happened, but I've heard from gossip out there in Seattle-land, that at the 11th hour, Howard Schultz and Starbucks decided to chop Karate Man from all of the marketing materials. He had a change of heart about Karate Man, and slashed him from everything that he could.
Karate Man was strong and athletic though. Well, of course he is strong and healthy because we all know how much he likes to have a Vivanno in the morning, or even sometimes in the afternoon. He ran like the wind from 2401 Utah Avenue South in Seattle, the place where Howard Schultz works, all the way to 1120 John Street in Seattle, the headquarters of the Seattle Times. (For non-Seattleites, this would be roughly 3.5 miles). Howard chased after him and eliminated him from all signage, and ads found on buses, on wall-space all over the city, almost every where... almost ... But Howard wasn't fast enough to scream the words "STOP THE PRESSES" at the Seattle Times. And so on newsprint paper, Karate Man survived. He survived and landed in print format in thousands of homes across the Seattle area, and in grocery stores, and lived on in a full-page Seattle Times Vivanno advertisement.
As I previously mentioned, At the 11th hour, legend has it the Karate Man got booted off the marketing materials. I repeat: I don't know why Karate Man suddenly got the axe but the famous "Pat Nerr" wrote a short story about it:
I did not write the story below!! It's the creation of Pat Nerr: Here is the link
(This blog entry posted with great apologies to Howard Schultz. Hopefully he's got a good sense of humor about all of it).
Originally, there were only 2 Vivanno flavors: Orange Mango Banana and Banana Chocolate. (Be sure to read about the Honey Vanilla Vivanno here). In 2009, Starbucks added a Strawberry Banana Vivanno to the line up and renamed the beverage a "Smoothie" (previously had been referred to as a "Nourishing Blend").
And here are a few images that go with this blog post: