Meat Fight—a barbecue competition between chefs that raises money for multiple sclerosis research—is approaching its eighth year in Dallas. Ticket sales for the November 12 event have been brisk, thanks in part to the design of its marketing materials. The meat-themed graphics—put out by the Johnson & Sekin ad agency in Dallas, which has worked on Meat Fight’s image since 2014—are appropriately campy and irreverent.
Like everyone else at Meat Fight, the team at Johnson & Sekin works pro bono, donating about 1,300 hours per year to the event, according to the firm’s managing partner Chris Sekin. Meat Fight’s CEO Alice Laussade gives the team plenty of design freedom, which makes it a fun project for their creative team. “It takes somebody like Alice being receptive to the work,” Sekin says. “It’s become a real privilege within the agency to get to work on it.” It doesn’t hurt that their work for Meat Fight does well at awards shows: Johnson & Sekin says the Meat Fight campaign has received 24 local, four regional, and two national awards over the past three years, and has been featured in Luerzer’s Archive magazine for design excellence. Not bad for charity work.
Sekin said the goal is always to make the Meat Fight design better than the previous year’s, and the teams embrace the challenge to one-up their predecessors. “In advertising, you can’t always work on things for good causes, so when you get your hands on something like this, it’s special,” Sekin says.