Carl's Jr. Did Not Copy TouchBlue's 'Knight School'


We were going to leave this one alone but since it's beginning to appear in a few places, we feel it's necessary to cover (with facts, no less). So, here goes. We received an email earlier this week suggesting a recent Carl's Jr. Chili Cheeseburger commercial which aired during the Oscars was quite similar to a video, Knight School, that "aired" in 2005.

The creators of the Knight School video, TouchBlue, claim the creators of the Carl's Jr. spot, Mendelsohn Zien Advertising, stole their idea. And so the classic copy cat story was born.

With the somewhat self-absorbed assumption everyone has seen the Knight School video and that food on the face is some sort of original idea, TouchBlue's Rene has sounded off in a video of his own snarking the commercial's creators and asking viewers for their opinion on the matter.

Because we didn't want to run with TouchBlue's assumption Mendelsohn Zien blatantly copied their idea or let a few blog posts and YouTube comments turn this into something more than it is, we contacted the agency, pointed them to the Knight School video and asked if anyone at the agency had seen it prior to creating the Carl's Jr. commercial.

Mendelsohn Zien Advertising Group Account Director Cathy Kellner-Diaz told us, "We did not see or hear about the video prior to developing or producing our Carl's Jr. Chili Cheeseburger spot."

Kellner-Diaz adds, "The idea of having food on your face is a universal human truth that everyone in world has personally experienced. And the comedic premise of trying to figure out where something is on your face has been featured in numerous mainstream films such as The Naked Gun, Something about Mary and Tommy Boy."

And just so everyone is clear about Carl's Jr. and the company's relationship to food on the face, Kellner-Diaz said, "More importantly, if any brand owns getting stuff on your face, it's Carl's Jr., the people that came out with the idea of 'If it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face' 13 years ago. In the trillions of videos out there in internet-land, there are bound do be some similarities."

Oh we can hear it now. There will be the usual suspects who will continue to cry fowl and just say the agency is lying. We won't buy it. As one YouTube commenter said "If Carl's Jr. taped the Chili Cheese Burger to his face (which is what TouchBlue did in their video), you (TouchBlue) may have an argument there."

There's no story here. This is a coincidence pure and simple.

by Steve Hall    Feb-29-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Bad, Opinion, Strange, Video   

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if Carl's Stole it from Knight School, Knight School stole it from The Kids in the Hall, who, in turn, stole it from Mel Brooks...who probably stole it from soeone else.

"If this is anybody but Lenny bruce tell em their stealing my bit"

Posted by: oatsoda on February 29, 2008 1:09 PM

Exactly, oatsoda. All this copy cat shit is a joke. It's all been done before. Everything is a alternate version of what came before it. There are no new ideas.

Posted by: Steve Hall on February 29, 2008 1:48 PM

Either way. That Touchblue bit is funnier.

Posted by: Niceberg Slim on February 29, 2008 6:03 PM

no new ideas? you must live in a very mundane and cynical world.

i say there's no proof either way on this one, but the similarities between the two pieces are undeniable.

Posted by: Jason on February 29, 2008 6:06 PM

I just watched both videos, and you're right, nobody owns the idea of "having food on your face". That said, here's what struck me as being more than just a coincidence:

-The editing. I think the similarity here is unarguable. True, many editing techniques are ubiquitous and this could be chalked up to coincidence... however, the quick cut from a perfectly clean face to a face covered in chili in a SPLIT-SECOND looked like a carbon ripoff to me.

-The burger eaters obliviousness. This obliviousness was the centerpiece to Knight School's punchline. The fact that Greenshirt is oblivious to something impossible to not notice (namely an entire chicken leg taped to his face) is ridiculous. Exact same thing with the chili-burger eater.

"...oooh I've got an idea... what if we replace the chicken with chili? and put them in a gym!"

But, of course, that's just my opinion.


Posted by: RJ on February 29, 2008 6:11 PM

GO STEVE! Great investegativ bloging!

I specially liked the points:

-Carls owns "getting stuff in face"
-internet-land = trillions of videos (very true. that's a lot of videos!!!)
-Carls bit was on freakin TV!!! TV!!!

I just about had it with youtube celebs. TOUCHBLUE RIPED OFF CARLS JR!

Posted by: Nark Parcelo on February 29, 2008 6:30 PM

Actually, Ms. Kellner-Diaz, Carl's Jr.'s slogan is:

--If it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong IN your face.--

Not ON your face. IN your face. I am just being nitpicky, but that was very sneaky of you trying to make the slogan serve your point.

Anyway, I don't think your client would appreciate that type of mistake. TSK..Tsk

Posted by: KeLL on February 29, 2008 9:27 PM

KeLL, that was my error. Cathy did say "in." I erroneously transposed it as "on" by mistake.

Posted by: Steve Hall on February 29, 2008 9:37 PM

This is the original gag! Naked Gun!

Posted by: youtuber on March 4, 2008 8:54 PM

This is the original gag from 1988! Naked Gun!

Posted by: youtuber on March 4, 2008 8:55 PM

This is the original gag from Naked Gun in 1988!

Posted by: youtuber on March 4, 2008 8:56 PM