Inside the strange success of Cards Against Humanity

Cards Against Humanity bought the satire site ClickHole, signalling its ambitions to expand its business outside the box of cards.

February 4, 2020

The irreverent card-game company Cards Against Humanity bought the satire site ClickHole from its previous owner G/O Media (which also owns ClickHole’s soon-to-be-former parent company, The Onion) for a deal BuzzFeed reports to be less than $1m.

For ClickHole, the acquisition is a win

The deal may not offer a lot of cash, but it does offer ClickHole’s employees some much-needed stability.

ClickHole has bounced around under several corporate owners (The Onion was bought first by Univision in 2016 and then private equity company Great Hill Partners in 2019) and recently has struggled with layoffs under its new ownership.

But as a part of this new deal, the employees at ClickHole (there are only 5 of them who work full-time) will now become majority owners of their own company.

And it’s also good news for readers, who can now look forward to more hard-hitting headlines like these:

  • “Making A Difference: For Every Hot Dog This Restaurant Sells, They Donate A Pair Of Glasses To A Hot Dog In Need” (From last year)
  • “Incredibly Frustrating: A Watermark Has Appeared Over Mt. Rushmore” (From last month)

And this isn’t the first time CAH has thought outside the box of cards

Cards Against Humanity made headlines in 2013 for increasing its prices by $5 as part of a Black Friday “anti-sale.” 

In the years since, the company has launched several other highly publicized marketing campaigns, such as:

  • Selling 30k boxes of actual bull sh*t (yep, straight-up poop from bulls), making $180+k
  • Convincing more than 11k people to give them $5 for nothing at all as a joke, making $71+k
  • Livestreaming the digging of a large hole whose excavation continued as long as viewers continued to crowdfund it, raising $100+k

But this deal is no joke

This new acquisition suggests Cards Against Humanity may plan to leverage its past success generating interest in its absurd stunts to create a content (or content marketing) company. 

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