Update (Monday, November 27): Prongles was Cards Against Humanity’s 2017 Black Friday prank. I was approached by DigitasLBi — CAH’s agency — earlier this month to help them spread the prank. I realize Black Friday is not April Fools and that perhaps I shouldn’t be testing y’all’s trust but Black Friday is a horrible tradition and I didn’t mind playing an itty bitty tiny role in lampooning it. We won’t make a habit of posting fake things on Black Friday, so no worries. So, yeah, this was a fake but it was as real as it gets, in terms of putting Prongles on shelves… if you really want a pair of Prongles, there are plenty on eBay.
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Launched in 2011, Cards Against Humanity is a party game — self-described as being “for horrible people” — where there is a stack of black cards and a stack of white cards. The black cards contain a question or fill-in-the-blank sentence that is read by a different player each round, and the white cards contain answers that the other players submit and compete for being the funniest… or most offensive. Cards Against Humanity started as a game by eight friends for their own enjoyment but after posting it online to download for free, it caught on, then it moved into a Kickstarter project, and is now sold on Amazon, Target, and online, shipping all over the world. There are now expansion packs, theme packs, and localized packs for the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. Despite the huge success of the game, the company announced today that it will no longer be in the card games business but instead move into the potato chip business because their research “shows that the snack food industry is bigger and more profitable than the board games industry”. The identity and packaging for the company’s new name, Prongles, rolling out nationally at Target today, has been designed by Chicago, IL-based 45 Irving.
As some of you might know, Cards Against Humanity is known for pulling Black Friday pranks — Black Friday, for our international readers, is one of the year’s most horrible days where people trample each other at the crack of dawn to save a few hundred dollars on electronics — like selling sterilized bullshit (literally, shit from a bull) or asking their audience to pay $5 for nothing (literally, not a thing). I received embargoed PR images for Prongles earlier this week and I wasn’t going to post it because I assumed it was just this year’s prank and all the images looked like easy-to-pull-off renders and fake sketches. Even the POP display shown further down in the post seemed like it was a one-off prototype BUT…
This morning, as I trampled with fellow Black Friday-ers — we needed a new washer for our house — I decided to go see if it was for real and, sure enough, Prongles were being sold at the Target in Bloomington, IN, so it wasn’t like Cards Against Humanity just plopped them in their local Targets in Chicago but these are actually getting nationwide distribution. Prongles is real. The CAH site is not selling cards anymore and Target has even pulled off any remaining inventory from their shelves. So, here are those embargoed images that I guess had a good reason for being embargoed.
Instead of coming up with a fully original product name, Cards Against Humanity keeps pushing the envelope — I actually really respect that they are sticking with their stick-it-to-the-establishment schtick — by adopting a name and logo that is probably 24 hours away from a cease and desist letter from Pringles. This approach will surely yield more sales because of the novelty and satirical bent. The new logo is a cheap rip of the Pringles logo, inferior in every way possible, its only saving grace being the idea of the “e” eating the “s” but that “s” looks like an intestine so the execution cancels out the concept. They also managed to find a crappier font than Comic Sans for “Original”, which is not even spaced properly in that counterspace between the “P” and the “l”. The color variations on the logo are almost laughable, since they all get muddied up with the black stroke. But, I guess, as a logo to potentially confuse people into buying Prongles instead of Pringles, it’s not bad.
The packaging, sold in the same kind of tube as Pringles, does look quite different from it, featuring a hog mascot, named Brayden, along with the standard-issue bursts and patterns of mainstream packaging.
That’s Brayden, the Prongles hog! Wild hogs are one of the only animals that will eat potatoes. Brayden loves extreme sports and lives life at one speed: WHOLE HOG. He also loves to cool down with a can of Prongles while hanging out with his best friend, Justin Bieber.
The hog mascot looks like the obnoxious friend we all had in our childhood — or the bully that picked on us… or, perhaps, YOU! — that is too concerned with being the too-cool, rebellious dude (but that secretly still wets his bed at night and lashes out at others because of his shame). Psychological nuances aside, “Breynard” is well drawn in his multiple x-games activities and Cards Against Humanity has even placed small homages to its old brand in the form of slightly abstracted “CAH” acronyms hidden in the illustrations.
I kind of hate Brayden. Total douche.
The Cards Against Humanity games will be missed — if you have a set, keep it in good condition and if you have a wrapped set, keep that shit in mint condition to pay for your kids’ college tuition in 20 years — but its spirit lives on with this eff-you Prongles product and if they are not bankrupt from the first set of lawsuits, perhaps they will introduce new snack products like Dorotos or Frotos.