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Cards Against Humanity Makes Major Partnership, Retains Sense of Humor

The crass card game with a cult following got a call from Netflix recently. Here's what happened next.

Last month, I wrote about Cards Against Humanity, a fascinating example of a successful business that, well, conducts itself very little like a traditional business. 

Maybe I spoke too soon with that analysis. Monday, Cards Against Humanity announced a significant branding partnership with Netflix. And the bold, irreverent minds behind the game devoted their resources to coming up with a 25-card expansion pack in advance of the season debut of Netflix's hit series House of Cards.

The expansion pack--already sold out, as is the lot of Cards Against Humanity expansion packs of late--features both black question and white answer cards, with the sense of humor you'd expect, and a slight inside-the-beltway twist.

How'd the partnership come to pass? I tried to ask the ringleader of the eight-man Cards band, Max Temkin, but was told he wasn't available by an assistant, who made a joke about Temkin being busy swaying votes on a piece of impending legislation. You know, like Frank Underwood. Anyway. The company's website offers slightly more explanation:

Last month, someone in the Netflix marketing department had an epiphany: House of Cards and Cards Against Humanity both contain the word "cards." When we got a phone call from Netflix, we enthusiastically agreed that the two products indeed contain the word "cards." One month and many brainstorming sessions later, we completed the House of Cards Pack: 25 brand-new cards about power, politics, passive-aggressive handjobs, and other scenes that we can never unsee. 

At least the company kept its stick-it-to-the-man attitude intact in making the deal. Look no further than the cards themselves for evidence:

"I can't believe Netflix is using __________ to promote House of Cards."

"Because you enjoyed __________, we thought you’d like __________."

And one of the answers a player might choose: "25 shitty jokes about House of Cards."

Last updated: Feb 11, 2014

CHRISTINE LAGORIO-CHAFKIN | Staff Writer | Senior Writer

Christine Lagorio-Chafkin is a writer, editor, and reporter whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Village Voice, and The Believer, among other publications. She is a senior writer at Inc.

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