Cards Against Humanity’s Super Bowl Spot Proved to be a Hot Potato

26% of Super Bowl viewers only watch for the commercials, but it’s safe to say not even those ad addicts were expecting to see a 30 second spot solely featuring a static potato with ‘ADVERTISEMENT’ written upon it in marker.


Twitter users immediately responded in confusion. What had they just seen? Who was responsible? And why would someone spend $5 million to have their potato broadcasted to millions of Americans?

Shortly after, Cards Against Humanity co-founder Max Temkin revealed the perpetrator:

A couple of hours later, Temkin posted a follow-up: the ad had proved a failure, and Cards Against Humanity, having not sold so much as a single booster pack since the spot aired, would be going out of business.

To explain just went wrong, he linked to a post-campaign analysis, entitled Why Our Super Bowl Ad Failed, in which the team highlight such obvious problems as the fact that millennials are too hip for such a mainstream vegetable, and their inability to stay on message:

“We spent so much time selecting the right potato for the ad that we never stopped to question whether a potato would convey the essential brand experience of Cards Against Humanity.”

There’s also the fact that the clip doesn’t include so much a single frame that connects it to the game developers.

Surprisingly, the team took the news of their spectacular failure rather well. “We believe that you can only become a master by trying and failing. In this way, failure is life’s greatest teacher; failure is actually success. At Cards Against Humanity, we fail all the time. We are veterans of failure. And constant failure, plus unlimited capital, is what led us to greatness. 

Will we do another ad next year? Yes. If we successfully emerge from Chapter 11, we will be seeking investors to bankroll an ad concept involving popular cereal grain ‘wheat.'”

We here at The 8 Percent wish them the very best.

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