Cards Against Humanity is offering a satirical “For Her” version of the company’s popular card game.
The “For Her” version is identical to the original Cards Against Humanity game, except that it comes in a pink box and costs $5 more. The product is intended to call attention to the so-called “pink tax,” in which women are charged more for “female-friendly” versions of everyday items such as razors, shampoo and deodorant.
Researchers estimate that women are being charged 21% more than men for these necessities. A study by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs in December 2015 found that products marketed to women and girls cost 7% more on average than equivalent products marketed to men. Products marketed to women were also found to be more expensive 42% of the time, compared to 18% of the time for products marketed to men.
On the Cards Against Humanity for Her website, gender stereotypes are mocked with a satirical tone. Images of the “For Her” box are shown alongside phrases such as “hydrates, lifts, and revives” and “pairs nicely with a glass of chilled white wine.”
“We decided that hey, it’s 2017, it’s time for women to have a spot at the table, and nevertheless, she persisted,” said Jenn Bane, Cards Against Humanity community director, in a press release. “That’s why we made Cards Against Humanity for Her. It’s trendy, stylish, and easy to understand. And it’s pink.”
She adds: “Women love the color pink”—an ironic jab at the patronizing rationale behind many products marketed to women.
The company is donating proceeds of the product to Emily’s List, which helps to elect pro-choice women to office, showing that the brand’s creative game is more than just a parody.
Extreme examples of “for her” marketing have received an outsize share of attention online, proving that consumers are paying attention. This month, Aurosa, a Czech beer “designed for the ladies,” also sparked controversy. The beer, predictably, comes in a pink box and is adorned with roses in promotional images. Founder Martina Šmírová says she created the beer “to prove that women can succeed anywhere without having to adapt and sacrifice their natural femininity.”
In 2016, an obscure Chinese tech company launched Keecoo, a mobile phone made for “the small hands of women” featuring a selfie camera that “makes your skin look delicate and smooth.” Online backlash was swift and harsh.
By fighting sexist marketing and the pink tax in a simple, comedic way, Cards Against Humanity is positioning its product as the game of choice for women who care about fighting sexism. The limited-edition box has already sold out, proving its popularity. Brands can learn from this kind of initiative and find clever, creative ways to tackle issues they are passionate about.