If you're not familiar with "Cards Against Humanity", it's a game that's designed to bring out the worst in human behavior and it's a hoot.
Known for their unconventional marketing tactics, the Chicago-based team came up with a unique idea for Black Friday this year. Rather than offering up the obligatory "deal", they decided to sell nothing. And I mean that literally. They actually SOLD nothing for $5. And, they crazy part is, 11,248 bought it. Even crazier is that 1,199 people bought it more than once. One person in fact paid $100 for nothing.
In the end, Cards Against Humanity sold nothing and made $71,145. Insane.
You would think that the insanity would have stopped there, but you would be wrong.
Most humanly decent companies, especially those as successful and profitable as Cards Against Humanity, would end the gimmick there and donate the proceeds to a worthy cause.
In fact, that's exactly what they did after Black Friday last year when they sold 30,000 boxes of 'bullshit' (actual poop). They donated 100% of their profits to the Heifer International.
But not this year.
This past weekend, the team at Cards Against Humanity posted a recap of the results along with an explanation of how they plan to spend the money.
Here's what they said:
There's been a lot of speculation about how we would spend the money from Black Friday, and we're happy to announce that this time, we kept it all. Here's what we bought.
You read that correctly. They kept if for themselves, buying things such as luxurious sex toys, cat litter, LASIK eye surgery, Pokemon cards and the list goes on. To be fair, most of them also donated some of the money to the charity of their choice, including cash-on-hand for random acts of kindness.
Each and every purchase has been itemized and listed here for everyone to see.
My first reaction is probably not unlike yours, or 100% of everyone else reading this for the first time. "WTF? Despicable. Inhumane."
And out of context, you'd be right in thinking that way. But, in context, this is just an absolute brilliant marketing stunt.
As I mentioned at the start of this story, the game itself is designed to bring the worst, most politically incorrect, behaviors out of its players. Behaviors that are not unlike those that the founders of the game just displayed.
And therein lies the brilliance of their tactic. A "real world" demonstration if you will, of the game itself. While it may seem appalling to some, it's completely aligned with the basis of their product. And that, my friends, is branding 101.
If you want to succeed, sometimes you need to take risks and be bold (like calling your beef jerky company "Ashley Madison for Vegans"). You may upset or alienate some potential customers in the process, but it's likely they weren't going to buy from you to begin with.