It's the rare piece of TV promotion that transcends its source material, but Netflix has managed to find the perfect tie-in for the season two premiere of House of Cards on Thursday: a set of 25 House of Cards-themed cards for the filthy party game Cards Against Humanity. If you're impatient, you can visit House of Cards Against Humanity to print the new cards on your printer right now; if you're willing to wait, you can send away for a free pack, which should arrive "in about a week, depending upon your electoral district."
Netflix's utterly humorless original drama might seem like an odd fit for a party game that includes cards like "Old-people smell" and "Getting naked and watching Nickelodeon." But House of Cards turns out to be surprisingly fertile ground for Cards Against Humanity. A veteran Cards Against Humanity player will be able to imagine any number of promising ways to use House of Cards-themed cards like "Punching a congressman in the face," "Strangling a dog to make a point to the audience," or "Ribs so good they transcend race and class."
How did this unlikely piece of marketing synergy occur? According to the Cards Against Humanity website, "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.'" In just a month, they were ready to go.
It's an undeniably canny piece of marketing from Netflix, but don't pull a Frank Underwood and get too greedy. "If you try to submit multiple orders," the website warns, "your orders will be canceled and we'll make it look like a suicide."