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Hai Karate and Kung Fuey: Early Martial Arts Tropes in British Advertising

Authors:

Sally Chan ,

University of Leeds, GB
About Sally
Sally Chan is Senior Teaching Fellow in Marketing at Leeds University Business School, Leeds University
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Emily Caston,

University of West London, GB
About Emily
Emily Caston is Professor of Screen Studies at University of West London
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Maddie Ohl,

University of West London, GB
About Maddie
Maddie Ohl is Professor of Child Mental Health and Wellbeing and Director of Studies, The Graduate School, University of West London
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Sean Nixon

University of Essex, GB
About Sean
Sean Nixon is Professor of Sociology, University of Essex
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Abstract

This paper focuses on the responsibility of advertising messages to authentically mirror and reflect British audience feelings towards ‘the Other’ and discusses caricatures of the Chinese in advertising through early martial arts tropes. It provides contextual background to Chinese depictions on screen in Britain before illustrating martial arts representations on print and television advertising during the 1970s. The paper includes examples of two popular brands in Britain: Pfizer’s ‘Hai Karate’ (1973) and Golden Wonder’s ‘Kung Fuey’ (1974-76) to illustrate colonial notions of the ‘Oriental’ during the 1960s and ’70s. This interdisciplinary study borrows from ethical representation and martial arts discourse in film and TV, to explain the exoticisation and exclusion of the Chinese in the context of authenticity and appropriation in advertising.

How to Cite: Chan, S., Caston, E., Ohl, M. and Nixon, S., 2020. Hai Karate and Kung Fuey: Early Martial Arts Tropes in British Advertising. JOMEC Journal, (15), pp.1–33. DOI: http://doi.org/10.18573/jomec.203
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Published on 22 Jul 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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