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3 Marketing Strategies We Learned From Cards Against Humanity’s 2021 Black Friday Campaign

Cards Against Humanity is a card game loved by many at ShortStack. Yes, our team has been known to partake in a wild round or two after a few beers; however, I’m not only referring to how much fun we have playing the game. We also love their outlandish marketing campaigns. 

The Cards Against Humanity marketers are masters of attention-grabbing campaigns that get us all talking. I am sure many of you remember when they paid for a 30-second advertisement during the 2017 Super Bowl and simply showed a photo of a potato. Or maybe you remember when they raised their prices $5 on Black Friday back in 2013 going against the grain of the mega deals everyone expects. 

Black Friday $5 more 'sale'.
Black Friday $5 more ‘sale’.

This year, they pulled off another fantastic campaign: Get Five Dollars. On 11/26/21, Cards Against Humanity posted on their social media every 20 minutes with a funny task for people to complete to get a crisp $5 bill (sent to their PayPal or Venmo account of course). This promotion was yet another hit for their long list of wild marketing ideas. Each tactic works to get folks talking about and buying CAH, but how does their team ensure their success?

Here are three important takeaways from their most recent campaign. 

#1 – Social media is EVERYTHING!

Cards Against Humanity has over 860,000 followers combined across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. For their Get Five Dollars campaign, they added each new task on their Twitter account. On Twitter, their posts had 1,500+ comments, 1,000+ Retweets, and 4,000+ likes. In addition to Twitter, folks were posting these wacky tasks on all social media platforms, from TikTok to Instagram Stories. 

All of this engagement was showcased on the landing page they created for the campaign. This made it easy to see friends, family members and strangers post campaign videos like giving their mailman a hotdog. 

In addition to the engagement-based tasks, Cards Against Humanity also had a few hashtag contests with hashtags like #BringBackCLAMONAISE, which made it to the top trending topics on Twitter, and #whatCAHwants. In both cases, the hashtags were required to enter a specific giveaway. 

#BringBackCLAMONAISE
#BringBackCLAMONAISE trending on Twitter.

Overall, the big lesson learned: Use social media to engage your audience and spread awareness!

#2 – People like to have fun

The biggest goal of this campaign was for their audience to simply have fun. Oftentimes folks in marketing get wrapped up in sales, sales, sales. However, Cards Against Humanity’s marketing strategy focuses heavily on engaging their audience. This strategy has paid off for them by creating major buzz around their brand every time they have a wild, out-of-the-box idea. 

At the end of the day, people will remember the fun they had while engaging with Cards Against Humanity on social media, and that is definitely a motive of Cards Against Humanity. It is easy for people to say “hey remember that time I dug a hole in the backyard for $5?! That was fun!” Maybe this fond memory will remind them to get their Cards Against Humanity out for their next get-together and introduce some friends to the game or buy an expansion pack. 

#3 – Sometimes it is necessary to spend money

The phrase “you need to have money to make money” tends to be true for most. For small businesses, this doesn’t always feel feasible. However, there are plenty of tools out there that are affordable. 

Of course, we are not suggesting that you buy a Super Bowl ad or offer a $100,000 prize when you can only afford to give away a $1,000 prize. Instead, think about your customers and what attracts their attention. After all, you know them better than anyone else. Maybe a bit of humor, à la Cards Against Humanity, is all they need to get excited about what you’re promoting, or maybe they need a nudge with a contest. Whatever it is, you need to invest a bit in marketing so your customer base and following can grow. 

You might be saying, “So now what? How do I implement these tactics into my marketing plan?” Be active on social media. Use it to drive your next marketing campaign. Who knows, maybe you will even go viral!

Also, remember to have fun. Implement quizzes and games in your campaigns. Ask your users to post silly pictures on Instagram. Get them to order a sour cream (only sour cream) burrito and film themselves eating it. You get the idea.

Personality Quiz
Host a quiz for fun.
View and Create Your Own

Lastly, look towards investing in promoting your brand. Don’t go above your means, but invest a little time, energy and money into your marketing campaigns and you will see a return on your investment!

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