WongDoody Playing Mind Games

WongDoody has macabre humor on the brain in its cartoonlike TV spot for Wizards of the Coast’s new board game, What Were You Thinking?
A 30-second TV spot from the Seattle shop playfully pretends that the object of the game–to get inside your opponent’s head–is meant literally. It opens with “Bob” reading a game card: “Name three things that come to mind when you think of Las Vegas.” As his opponents think, Bob’s head flips open, and out pop mischievous arms that pry open the other players’ skulls and steal their “thoughts.” The arms then feed Bob the answers–a flashing slot machine, three pink-plumed dancers, a cheesy lounge singer–by literally stuffing them down his throat.
“We looked at animation, but decided [using actors] would have more impact and
be a little more bizarre,” said art director Jason Black.
The ad is testing in Chicago and Indianapolis, supported by radio promotions, said Charlotte Skeel, Wizards’ vice president of marketing. It will likely roll out nationally next year, possibly with print ads in vertical titles. Skeel declined to estimate a budget. SFM Media, Los Angeles, handles media buying.
Renton, Wash.-based Wizards, best known for its Magic: The Gathering card trading game, spent $5 million on ads in 1997, per Competitive Media Reporting.