CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY: SO ABSURD IT’S BRILLIANT

Season: CHICAGO

Episode: FIVE

Brand: CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY

Release Date: April 2016

Chicago-based Cards Against Humanity “is a party game for horrible people.” At least that’s what it says on the box. But below the lid is an absurd tsunami of topics touching on all things comedy and tragedy, philosophy and popular culture, integrity and vulgarity, semantics and anti-semitism, the English language and the English actor Daniel Radcliffe–all printed and packaged on stark, black and white playing cards.

The game is simple but brilliant. Everyone starts with 10 white cards that provide interesting and colorful subjects or phrases in which to fill in the blanks of the black cards, that, in turn, introduce questions or scenarios. Each round, the funniest white card–according to the card czar–wins and becomes the new czar.

Cards Against Humanity is usually best combined with an excessive amount of bourbon. This way you ease right into the natural regression of all things ridiculous, depraved and taboo. What is the secret to their very ‘serious’ success?

For the past five months, 12 for 12 has been exploring Chicago companies in search of the answers to this very question. But, in this fifth episode, something wonderfully unexpected happened.

Cards Against Humanity’s co-founder, Max Temkin, asked our show’s host, Adam Voss, an even more fundamental question, “How do you define ‘brand?’”

It’s an essential question. What is a brand? Is it a question we just never thought to ask because it shadows all unconscious thought, or one we had never stopped to answer because we were distracted by the bourbon selection at the bar?

Is it just a social construct, or is it deeply rooted in the fabric of who we are and what we do, like identity, trying to provide purpose or meaning? If so, then can anything be a brand??

And if anything can be a brand, then what makes Cards Against Humanity so different? Is brand a reflection of our ourselves, a projection of who or what we want to be–or how our customers see us?

This question is the thesis of this month’s episode of 12 for 12. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do, but go easy on the bourbon!

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