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.

Recent posts

Digity Blog

By Catherine Dove 12 Jun, 2017
This month's edition of Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Life  Magazine has a new feature focused on Men in Business.  It's a title we are often placing ads for clients within rather than featuring in ourselves but it looks like a great addition to the publication.  They contacted Chris as a result of our six year association with them and wanted to run a Q&A covering a lighter mix of topics for business owners to give their readers some more insights and background.
By Ellie McDaniel 08 Jun, 2017
On the 25th June I will be participating in the 35 mile Wokingham Bikethon in support of local mental health charity Sport in Mind . It will be a huge personal challenge to complete the route, and I am excited to be supporting such a worthwhile cause. 

Sport in Mind uses exercise and physical activity to help aid the recovery of people experiencing mental health problems across Berkshire. Through activities such as football, yoga, and running, the charity encourages individuals to move their lives forward in a positive direction and boosts self-esteem.
By Catherine Dove 02 Jun, 2017

Regardless of your industry or business, Father’s Day is a great opportunity to grow your client or customer base, stimulate sales and boost your profits. With Father’s Day fast approaching (Jun 18th), you need to start taking advantage of this great gift-giving holiday with effective and innovative marketing techniques! 

Through creating a great Father’s Day campaign that consistently goes across all of your online marketing platforms, you can be sure to boost exposure and drive conversions for your brand.  Here are our tips to make the most of it.

By Chris Lunn 01 Jun, 2017
Over the years we've supported lots of different causes as a company and I'm a big believer in experiencing new things and helping where I can. With this in mind I recently took part in a charity abseil for Emerge Poverty Free and the fundraising went well.  I know a few others who are doing similar things at the moment so I've put together a quick guide to help everyone who is about to embark on a fundraising mission.  

So here are my 8 top tips which are all really quick and easy to implement - I hope they come in handy:

  1. Set-up your online donation page ASAP - we hear the Virgin Money Giving set-up is very good

  2. Tell everyone you know what you're doing via email - create a sincere email to let them know what you're doing, when and most importantly why!  Give them a link to your donation page.  I included some people I hadn't spoken to for a while and others who I flat-out thought would never sponsor me - but I figured if you don't ask, you don't get.  I was amazed by what happened!

  3. Depending what you're doing there's likely to be some training involved so keep people updated via social media (all your accounts) as to progress - with every post make sure there's a link to your donation page

  4. With every donation you receive, thank that person publicly on your social media account and if you're friends with them, tag them in (this will encourage even more support and interest from them but equally it's a subtle reminder to the other onlookers).  Definitely post a link back to your page too every time - I can't stress how important adding links continually is on social media along with great images - either of you or related to the quest!

  5. Add a banner to your email signature - you no doubt send a lot of emails so make use of it with a link back

  6. Ask certain people to sponsor you early - you need momentum for a campaign so the sooner someone starts the ball rolling the better

  7. On the day (or through the days if it's a longer challenge) get various photos and you could even do a Facebook live stream to showcase the event itself - guess what I'm going to say here?  Yes, add a link to your sponsorship page!

  8. In the days after, thank everyone for their support again and remind them why it was so important to you - with a link to your page.  Equally, tag the charity (and use any hashtags) in to all your posts throughout as you'll get extra likes and shares when you do.

Overall you get the idea - hammer home the awareness of what you're doing and you'll wear down those who are either a bit resistant or just lazy.  I set a goal of £250 for my abseil and I hit that after step 2 (inside 24 hours).  As a result of continually following the other steps I ended up generating £848 including gift aid which I was blown away by.  

It didn't take a lot of time or effort, 10 minutes a day in the fortnight before (google image searching and writing some posts) was plenty.

Good luck and if it helps, feel free to copy and share this advice as you see fit.  It's the difference between a little and a lot and we all know every extra pound raised really does help.

The best bit... and this was an added bonus, but people really cared about what I did.  One client even signed up to do it with me with only 2 days to go which was awesome and the whole thing resulted in conversations with people I wouldn't have had otherwise.
By Alix Davis 30 May, 2017
When it comes to designing logos, arguably one of the most important aspects is the colour choice. This will change how a consumer feels about any particular brand, and they will subconsciously categorise it based on the colour. To make sure your brand’s logo stands out from the crowd, it's key to use appropriate colours which differ from the competition.

Colour has a very integral link to emotion and we instinctively link certain colours with feelings. For example, in western culture, blue tends to be associated with calmness, professionalism and integrity. This makes it a highly popular choice, especially for more corporate brands who want to exude a feeling of calm authority without being intimidating. Green is seen to promote growth, freshness, nature and health. Green and blue are often used together in the health industry. Many logos for dentists, physiotherapists, health services and also science and environmental companies will use one or a combination of these colours.
More Posts
Share by: