When Brand Personality Wins the Big Bucks

What can be more ridiculous than playing the popular card game “Cards Against Humanity?” How about handing them money for nothing in return. You may want to check out its scandalous brand personality after reading this..

This past Black Friday, the shopping holiday of the year par excellence, millions of people spent the day after Thanksgiving taking advantage of retailers and their lowest prices of the year sales. In the meantime, Cards Against Humanity pulled a stunt that is completely backwards and counterintuitive to the meaning of Black Friday.

The stunt entailed asking consumers to give $5 to the company for nothing in return. Yes, pay $5 for no item, service nor consumer good. It’s a one-way street where you lose while they gain. Where is your Black Friday savings? Not at the end of this Cards Against Humanity deal.

Why? Where Does Brand Personality Come In? 

The Cards Against Humanity founders refer to this stunt as just one of the many pranks they pull. And if you’ve played the card game before, you’ll understand this brand’s personality and understand why they would pull such a prank. Cards Against Humanity is ironic, bizarre, offensive, and yet humorous.

So it started to make sense to me after I read the buzz around the prank. It’s ironic that on Black Friday, people would give money to a for-profit company expecting nothing in return. It’s bizarre that on Black Friday, more than 10,000 people would participate or give more than $5. It may even been offensive that Cards Against Humanity decided to keep most of the profit for themselves. With less than 20 employees in the company, the profit was equally divided among them as a bonus.

The Results Of Being Outrageously Daring

Cards Against Humanity did not anticipate this positive reaction to their Black Friday deal, nor did they expect any consumer to take the deal serious and pay the $5. But it was such a successful stunt that the company ended pocketing more than $70,000 in profit.

And yes, the game company employees did spend thousands of dollars on their own out of the ordinary wish list, but several employees gave a portion to charitable organizations. Cards Against Humanity is also known to give back to various organizations and support charitable causes.

Ultimately, I found it hilarious yet revealing to read about a brand that is promoting its personality in an authentic way and making a profit from it. They took a risk, but that’s what you do when you want to win playing this card game. You risk that one offensive card that will get the funniest (and winning) answer. I think the same strategy applies to marketing and advertising… and life in general.

This is one of many great examples of a brand monetizing their brand personality. Other brands that are leveraging their brand personalities as a tactic in their marketing are Dollar Shave Club, or Spirit Airlines.

Read more about the Cards Against Humanity brand personality stunt here. Also, stay tuned to Dieste Inc.’s Provoke Daily and find your daily nugget of multicultural advertising news and trends, provoking action every day.

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jorgelo@thehangar.cr