Shari Spiro - Cards Popsicle Humanity - Making Crazy Stunts Happen: tBR Company of the Week
One of the most challenging of the many Cards Against Humanity promotional ideas I ever said “no problem” to was the ice pop card pack which was named Cards Popsicle Humanity and debuted at Pax Prime in September of 2015. It consisted of a giant popsicle which held a 10 pack of special cards against humanity cards. When the guys first approached me with the idea I am mediately said “no problem” as I always did. Little did I realize that no die in the world existed big enough to hold 10 playing cards inside of a foil pack. When I finally found a company that agreed to run the job for me I had no idea how many things could go wrong.
First, It took a full 8 months of planning and involved taking a card pack, making sure the wrapper was food safe and freeze resistant and then finding a way to insert it into the center of a frozen popsicle. I tested this first with foil packs I had sent over from one of my plants in China and I tested them by leaving them in my kitchen freezer for about three weeks. I removed the cards - they were cold but there was very little condensation. I determined that it could work with a foil pack.
Getting the right size pack was the first thing we did - measuring the maximum amount of cards that would fit into an ice pop was how it began but before long I realized that there were literally no existing ice pops in the world big enough to fit normal sized CAH cards which measure 2.5 x 3.5 and with 10 of them, we would need a 3 x 5 ice pop roughly speaking. No one would do it. I spoke to companies all over the world, everyone said it was impossible. Naturally that spurred me on.
I finally bribed a small factory in the south east to tell me who to contact in China to make a custom die for their machine. But the man was not listening when I warned him that the “devil is in the details” and he neglected to measure properly. When he did realize that the die would not quite fit his machine as he had measured for it, he tried to back out of the job, which was not an option.
I micromanaged the making of the die so it would fit the cards correctly and all I asked him to do was to be sure the outer carriage measurements were correct- but as fate would have it- he did not make sure.
When the long awaited (and expensive) die arrived, it did not fit his machine so we retrofitted an older machine where the die could be submerged and the ice pops could be made 30 or so at a time rather than automatically. This was how we (slowly) and eventually were able to make the card carrying ice pops. As each pop was being frozen we added the packs manually.
To add to my problems he also did not properly measure for the width of the paper wrapper, so I purchased two sealing and cutting machines at the last minute and had them trucked in to cut the outer wrapper so it would fit around the pops. Once inside the pops, meanwhile, the foil packs were sticking out of the sides. I had the last minute idea to use food safe tape to tighten the edges of the foil bags so they would not stick out the sides of the pops and would fit into the die.
After flying to the plant I basically had to stay on daily in order to keep my supplier calm, and get the job done. Then I had to send a refrigerator truck to the east coast and drive the pops with a team of drivers 55 hours diagonally across the US to Seattle in order to make it on time to the ice cream truck parked on the streets of Seattle outside the convention center for the trade show.
Lines stretched down the entire length of a city block as people waited patiently for the opportunity to buy their own ice pop and retrieve the special card packs. Each of the popsicle sticks was printed with a crazy little riddle. I even handed out special letter openers so people could slit open the foil more easily. Every detail was, finally, perfect.
It was insane. I was so amazed that I had actually pulled off the job that instead of spending my time at the show, I spent the entire show on the sidewalk watching people eat the ice pops. My sense of satisfaction watching the large ice pops as they dripped down the front of peoples’ shirts, while with amazed smiles they found cards inside of their ice pops, is a feeling I still remember to this day. It was messy, it was crazy, it was fun, and it was one of the most challenging Cards Against Humanity promotions I had ever pulled off for them.
Flavors included Mango F*ck Yourself, It’s Too Late To Stop Climate Change Cherry, and The Moon Landing Was A Hoax Coconut.
Author Contact Info:
Ad Magic Inc
125 Main Street
Netcong, NJ 07857
Note from Publisher, Shari is a 2020 TAGIE Awards Nominee for Supplier of the Year