The absolute absurdity of Cards Against Humanity’s marketing.

Image for post
Image for post

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Their words, not mine.

They’re also a brand that is infamous for pulling off absurd (and surprisingly effective) marketing campaigns strictly for the sake of their own entertainment — I would almost describe them as anti-marketing.

Where they seem to let this absurdity run rampant, showing-off their anti-marketing chops in full form, is each year on Black Friday.

As American’s jump in their cars, fueled by copious amounts of turkey and caffeine, hungry to gobble up huge savings… Cards Against Humanity never fails to give humanity a little more than they bargained for

In 2013…

CAH (using this acronym because it’s a bitch to type out the entire name) decided to raise their prices by $5 versus offering any sort of discount…

They told their customers it was a “Once-in-a-lifetime sale” and to everyone’s surprise, the deal worked…

Sales soared and CAH held onto their top-selling Amazon spot on the hottest shopping day of the year.

In 2014…

The band of misfits decided to sell literal “bullshit” in a box for $6 apiece.

Not faux bullshit.

Not chocolate shaped like bullshit.

Like, actual bullshit.

Guess how many people pulled the trigger on their offer?


In 2015…

They asked their customers to give them money. Their website said something along the lines of…

“Donate money to CAH for no reason whatsoever”.

To everyone’s surprise, they raise over $70,000. But, the antics didn’t end here.

With the $70,000 gifted by their customers, they went out and bought a few bottles of fine scotch whiskey, a 24k gold vibrator, round trip plane tickets to Finland and a few other knickknacks.

Then, of course, we can’t forget about the potato ad.

Perhaps their oddest and certainly most widely viewed anti-marketing campaign came in the form of a Super Bowl ad where they bought a 30-second spot to advertise a potato… you can watch the commercial here.

(I also highly recommend you read their sarcastic break down of why the Super Bowl ad failed in this viral Medium post).

It pays to be funny.

If you’re the type of brand that can pull off funny in your marketing, do it. A few I’ve covered in Stranger Than Fiction have been Dollar Shave Club, Chipotle and CD Baby.

With that said, brands must be cautious. If there is anything worse than not being funny, it’s trying to be funny and telling a bad joke that goes over as well as a fart in a diver’s suit.

So, I guess the moral of the story is be funny… unless you’re not funny. Nike isn’t funny. It’d be weird if they sent people bullshit in a box.

But, I digress.

By Cole Schafer.

Originally published at on April 20, 2020.

Written by

I write pretty words and sometimes sell things.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store