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Level 3: 182 points
Last Logged In: August 1st, 2010

25 + 71 points

Reverse Shoplifting by Neutron, M t R

June 10th, 2009 2:19 PM / Location: 41.880425,-87.62240

INSTRUCTIONS: Insert an object into a store. Make sure your object can be bought.

Have you ever noticed how bleak the card selection for Fathers Day is? If your dad isn’t into golf or fishing you’re going to have a rough time finding a card with an appropriate graphic, let alone a fitting sentiment. We set out to solve this problem by creating some cards for the father who doesn’t so easily fit into the dad demographic as prescribed by the Greeting Card Industrial Complex.

Refreshments at the World Famous Billy Goat Tavern got the juices flowing and we brainstormed ideas for our cards. We ventured above ground to the Walgreens to obtain a working bar code from one of Hallmark’s bargain price cards to scan at home. We also pocketed a paper section divider to copy so that our cards will be filed in the appropriate category of greetings.

Once we had a few ideas of cards, it was fun to appropriate some imagery and dash off some card designs on the home computer. We tried to make the cards look like professional greeting cards, but with a twisted message. Using the scanned bar code, customers should be able to buy these cards just like any other card in the rack. But whether any random customer will find them appealing is unknown.

At first our plan was to supply some envelopes for the cards as well, but it was easier to just shuffle some envelopes on the racks to our cards. Placing the cards was easy and the dividers fit right in. I wish we'd had time to complete all of our other card ideas!

The cards have now all been placed at three downtown Chicago Walgreens locations:
30 N Michigan Ave
16 W Adams St
300 S State St

Can you find them?

+ larger

The inside of the card is printed on cardstock
Spray glue for the green paper
Trimming the cards to size
Greeting card design is fun!
The finished "Tough Guy" card
Birthmark - the mark of quality
The dividers
Scene of the crime
Placing the cards
Replacing the divider
One of these things is not like the others
The bar code works

16 vote(s)

Favorite of:


(none yet)

16 comment(s)

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on June 10th, 2009 5:10 PM


Do you have any photos of the cards in the store?

(no subject)
posted by Neutron on June 11th, 2009 8:13 AM

New photos up of the cards on the shelves at participating Walgreens locations!

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on June 11th, 2009 9:29 AM

Oh, wow. It is so much better now.

But I already gave it five points...

This need one hundred more points.
posted by Waldo Cheerio on June 12th, 2009 4:41 AM

Where are twenty of my friends, and why are they not here, voting?

(no subject)
posted by teucer on June 12th, 2009 8:10 AM

We are! We even beat you to it!

(no subject)
posted by susy derkins on June 10th, 2009 10:49 PM

Man, I need the one with the flan!
Birthmark, wow.

CGØ, get in here!
posted by Waldo Cheerio on June 12th, 2009 4:48 AM

Susy and I have needs. I suspect whoever buys one of those will wield power over either of us. Perhaps an exchange of SF0 memorabilia or task requests would be in order.

(no subject)
posted by Mr Everyday on June 11th, 2009 7:47 AM

Seriously, the tough guy card is genius!!! I would buy one in a second. So many good tasks appear at once... Must task to vote...

(no subject)
posted by Ben Yamiin on June 11th, 2009 3:41 PM

you win!

(no subject)
posted by Emily Moss on June 11th, 2009 5:18 PM

Oh. my. gosh. The Schooleys probably think I'm crazy cuz I'm laughing so hard! Birthmark was almost the end of me!!! Such great work, guys.

Fine work!
posted by Loki on June 11th, 2009 8:10 PM

The tough guy card is brilliant, and the execution flawless.

Also, I realize how difficult it is to parody something as intrinsically silly as a greeting card. Had I seen them in the store, I'd never imagine that the Flan and Alf cards weren't legitimate.

(no subject)
posted by M t R on June 11th, 2009 10:27 PM

Yes, our plan was to make these cards ridiculous enough that nobody would buy them, but after placing them in the store they seemed to fit in... too well.

posted by done on June 12th, 2009 2:37 AM

(no subject)
posted by ghanuj on June 15th, 2009 12:35 PM

in all seriousness, i think i might go attempt to buy one of these after work. i will let you know the outcome.

(no subject)
posted by Neutron on June 15th, 2009 2:16 PM

Excellent. I anxiously await news of your shopping experience.

(no subject)
posted by ghanuj on June 16th, 2009 7:01 AM

they do exist! i went to the walgreens at 300 s. state but the only card i could find was the one that begins 'Querido, Papa...' ---might i say, the surprising recipe for flan was quite the addition and the quality was up to par with the other father's day cards. however, i decided that it was more appropriate to leave the card for someone else, perhaps an unsuspecting lover of fathers, so as to let the reverse shoplifting run its proper course. plus, the idea of knowingly paying walgreens for a card that they do not sell seemed a bit off to me, but i can only assume that the transaction will be exceptionally hilarious for both parties if neither know why the card exists. so, i straightened it, placed it in the proper 'tarjeta para tu padre en espanol' slot, and let it be.

good work. :)