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Cards Against Humanity and the Black Friday search phenomenon

Cards Against Humanity is a popular card game for adults that every year becomes a phenomenon on Black Friday, but not for the reasons you might think. 

In 2018, they launched a website with absurd sales at 99% off. Among the items in 99percentoffsale.com, you could find a $20 bill for $0.20, a life-size cutout of Orlando Bloom for $0.75, and a 17th Century Italian Halberd for $18.50. 

Black Friday offer from Cards Againts Humanity
17th Century Italian Halberd for sale during Black Friday

In 2016, Cards Against Humanity asked for money to “dig a hole” and collected over $100,000. In 2015, they asked for people to give them $5 for nothing — and received more than $70,000. In 2013, they raised the price of the game for the date.

Max Temkin, co-creator of the game, said in an interview to The Takeout that the idea is to poke fun at the most commercial date of the year. It is an entirely in-brand action that also shows marketers the power of content strategy. 

The unexpected side effect is that Cards Against Humanity became a search phenomenon every Black Friday, the one day of the year when buying is undoubtedly a search intention. Can you imagine what most retailers would do to be in that position?

Google Trens graph for Cards Against Humanity
Peaks of search interest during Black Friday for Cards Against Humanity

The irony is that every year, the stunt results in hundreds of referral links from press coverage and social media that greatly benefit the organic positioning of the domain. The moral of the story here: authentic marketing pays off, including when it comes to SEO. 

Dig a hole in the ground Black Friday campaign from Cards Against Humanity
Dig a hole in the ground campaign

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