Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Launcher dispenses up to eight cards at a time.

One of my hobbies (now that my main hobby has become my main source of income) is reading advertisement fine print - especially television ads. Occasionally, this blog will focus a magnifying glass on such tiny print, such as this ad (which runs around the Christmas shopping months)...

"Launcher dispenses up to eight cards at a time. "

Fine print from a UNO Attack TV advertisement. Besides being shocked to discover that the UNO brand is now owned by Mattel (at least it's not Hasbro - the giant corporation which absorbed all of our childhood toys), I was puzzled that this limitation with the game warranted a fine print mention commercial - fine print usually being reserved for safety warnings and legal disclaimers. Sometimes a fine print message is required because of a lawsuit or potential lawsuit. Toy commercials always have great fine print because the commercials are usually misleading and kids are so naive. Fine print with toy commercials range from "Some assembly required" or "Faces on cards do not actually talk".

I went to the UNO website to gain some insight about the eight card warning. I found line in the UNO Action description: "This frenzied unpredictable game features unique rules and electronic card shooter that may shoot no cards or might shoot up to 8!"

Germaine suggests that the fine print was present to counter the visuals in the commercial where it looks like more than eight cards are being launched. Even the song in the commercial mentions that you might get eight cards. So all this energy was spent to clarify that while it looks like the kid is being pummeled by countless cards, he really is only being hit by up to eight at a time. How many meetings and conference calls took place to ensure that the this concept was clear?

An aside. My prediction is that Mattel is going to use the UNO brand like Nabisco uses the Oreo brand and release numerous different versions of card games with the UNO name. UNO Texas Hold'em, anybody?


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