The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly for Black Friday Campaigns

  • By Ashley Timms
  • 02 Dec, 2016

Despite all the offers in shops, UK shoppers opted for online sales this Black Friday. Sales on the high street were down 7% compared to last year and down 5% in shopping centres.

But, online sales on Black Friday were up an incredible 25% compared to 2015. With a clear preference for online shopping, retailers focused their efforts into marketing for online sales and it worked. 

While the campaigns for the shopping holiday were fairly underwhelming this year, we’re bringing you the good, the bad, and the ugly to show what works with shoppers.

The Good

Patagonia, the US-based outdoor apparel company, has always been committed to giving back. In addition to the 1% of annual sales they already donate, they vowed to donate 100% of global sales on Black Friday this year to grassroots environmental groups.

Breaking a record, and their prediction, Patagonia will be donating a whopping $10 million to organisations all around the world. In addition to offering discounts to their customers, they’ve made a declaration of their devotion to the environment.

This type of advertising can only be good for business. Their quality products have been matched with quality people choosing to do high-quality things for our world. A*!

The Not-So-Bad

Cards Against Humanity, dubbed the party game for horrible people, is filled with surprises as is their Black Friday marketing - the company deploy a new prank each year. With the CEO admitting that they all “hate Black Friday,” each stunt seems more extravagant than the last. The company started in 2012 and, for 2013, they actually raised their prices by $5 on Black Friday. In 2014, 30,000 people all paid $6 each for the Black Friday deal to be mailed a box of excrement (yes, really). Last year, 1,199 people donated over $70k which the team spread equally among themselves (you can see what they bought with the money here . )

This year, they’ve opted for more donations. Raising over $100k, the money instead goes towards digging a really massive hole, affectionately called the Holiday Hole. You can see how it all went here

The reason this Black Friday campaign is “not-so-bad” is because the company already donate massive amounts of money to charities and organisations. While the consumer gets nothing out of these “deals” (well, you could count pride of a hole, -$5, and a box of excrement as something ), Cards Against Humanity receives tons of press and recognition each year. This method may work for your business, but we highly recommend proceeding with caution (and maybe consult us first, yeah?).

The Ugly

It seems nothing will slow the sales of Apple. Globally, they have sold over 1 billion iPhones as of April this year. That doesn’t even count their laptops, desktops, tablets, and accessories such as software or iTunes.

This tech giant is sought after for all demographics from students to professionals and with a price to match. On the more expensive end of the device spectrum, it’s no wonder many people waited until Black Friday to make their holiday purchases. But, I hope they didn't hold their breath.

Despite many stockists lowering the prices of the Apple products in stores and online, Apple itself did not drop their prices a single cent. Instead, they included gift cards in their sales. The more expensive the purchase, the more the gift card value but they seemed to top out near the £100 mark.

Overall, Apple didn’t provide any tangible incentive to their customers. By dishing out gift cards, they merely solidified future purchases. While this may have worked for some customers, especially those really seeing the value in Apple products, many have gone for 3rd party vendors to save some cash.

´╗┐How to Make It Work

Your industry and your market dictate what will and won’t work for Black Friday deals. In some cases, it pays (literally) to go big. In other cases, publicity might be all you need. It's all about knowing how, when, and where to market. Leave it to us to manage this grey area for you. Get in touch with us today to book in a free consultation.

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