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MSCHF’s latest marketing stunt uses domain names to target presidential candidates

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The company registered potential candidates’ domain names and offered shares to the public.

Screenshot of MSCHF "ransom note" for Mike Pence's domain name

This “ransom note” is at

MSCHF, the creative marketing company that ran the “High Off” campaign to promote musician Future using over 150 new top level domains, is back at it with another domain-related campaign.

The company launched, where people can (well, could) buy shares in domain names the agency registered that relate to possible 2024 presidential candidates.

The agency registered domains like,, and, and offered 100 shares in the domains for $1 each. It then set up landing pages for each domain with a ransom note telling the candidate to buy the domain.

If someone buys one of the domains, MSCHF says that the shareholders will split the proceeds.

It’s not clear what the campaign is about but could be a general awareness campaign for the agency. The site includes this “manifesto”:

Politicians come and go, the vast majority running purely in their own self interest or – as the case may be – the self-interest of the massive corporate donors who own them heart and soul. Yang, kanye, even trump, have shown that running for office is now a standard piece of brand-building.

Universally, however, candidates wear the idea that they are acting “for the people” loudly upon their sleeves. In some small way we can force that to be true: let us collectively hold hostage those assets a campaign needs, and force a prospective candidate to pay ransom back to the crowd before commencing their voyage of public aggrandizement.

As they say in the real estate business: location, location, location! And when it comes to urls, mostly available for paltry sums and entirely unique, well: it’s free real estate.

Pre-buying political domains is like laying a predictive minefield: a sale can potentially detect actions in advance of announcements.

Domain squatting is a plague: conniving scamsters seize premium land and prevent growth. If you don’t have a good idea for cookies.Me, don’t stop someone else from taking it! Of course our defense is that we did have a good idea, and this is it.

The savvy consider betting markets to be more reliable predictors than the polls. Because the political consultant class watches the betting markets, betting affects the race just as polls influence the electorate – a political observer effect. Let’s kick that up a notch: by betting on an asset a candidate will be forced to buy back, these bets will interface with campaigns directly.

If the lion’s share of politics is performance and gamesmanship, let’s get in the game.

I’m hosting a panel about fractional domain ownership on Thursday at Join us for a discussion about selling shares in domains.

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