7 of the best Black Friday marketing campaigns to inspire youTopic: Marketing
4 October 2022
A colloquial term for the day after Thanksgiving, it traditionally marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season in the US, where it has long been popular. But over the last decade, Black Friday’s popularity has skyrocketed in Europe too.
With statistics like that, it’s no wonder retailers and e-commerce businesses are ramping up their marketing efforts in readiness. Looking for some inspiration? Here are some of the best Black Friday marketing campaigns and what you can do to emulate them.
- Amazon’s Black Friday Live
- Apple’s cliffhangers
- Raeburn’s pre-loved collaboration
- Lucy & Yak’s purchases with an impact
- French Connection’s site-wide sale and competition
- Cards Against Humanity’s reverse sale stunt
- Ikea’s buy back scheme
1. Amazon’s Black Friday Live
The world’s busiest e-commerce event of the year is nothing without Amazon who brought Black Friday to the UK back in 2010. Last year, the e-commerce giant turned the traditionally shopping-centred weekend into a four-day free event featuring live music, films, books and more.
Amazon Black Friday Live invited guests to enjoy events such as cocktail making with Laura Whitmore, a book reading with Alesha Dixon, music from Ray Blk and more. And in addition to the star-studded schedule of events, household brands showcased exclusive promotions so attendees could still get their discounted shopping fix.
This is a prime example (no pun intended) of how Black Friday campaigns don’t just have to be held online nor do they have to revolve around e-commerce. Take a leaf from Amazon’s book and plan your own in-person event. It doesn’t have to be as swanky; consider what you could do to create an immersive experience.
For example, launch a pop-up shop for a limited time only.
2. Apple’s cliffhangers
Last year, Apple launched a cliffhanger campaign for Black Friday. Weeks before the actual day, the tech giant launched an email marketing campaign that was designed to tease customers with anticipation. It started with a sneak peek to capture customer attention. Then followed a second email a week later, detailing the specifics of the deals.
Not only will this approach inform customers of your upcoming promotions, but it can also keep them on the edge of their seats. Rather than giving all of the information away immediately, why not give customers a piece of the puzzle day by day to build anticipation and excitement?
3. Raeburn’s pre-loved collaboration
Fast fashion and throwaway culture is having a detrimental effect on the planet. Responsible fashion brand Raeburn knew the impact a day like Black Friday – flooded with deals and discounts – will have. So rather than adding more clothes to the mix, they decided to celebrate those already in circulation and tried to reduce retail waste.
They temporarily shut their online shop down so consumers couldn’t buy anything new and let Responsible, a pre-worn clothing brand, take over their brick-and-mortar store for the weekend. Consumers could splurge on pre-loved items and trade in their own pieces for in-store credit and exclusive discounts.
It’s widely known that the most sustainable clothes are the ones you already have in your wardrobe. But if your customers are going to buy something, consider what you can do to help them make more sustainable decisions instead.
4. Lucy & Yak’s purchases with an impact
Independent British clothing brand Lucy & Yak is passionate about making positive changes. For Black Friday 2021, they launched a six-day campaign that focused not on sales but donating a third of their profits to the Fior Di Loto school, which is next door to their first factory in Rajasthan, a region in India. This money ultimately helped to improve the living conditions of and provide an education for more than 700 girls in that area.
Over the course of the campaign, they regularly posted on their social media channels, explaining how many girls they were able to help, thanks to their customers’ purchases. This campaign certainly pulled on the heart strings and encouraged customers to make purchases for a good cause.
This is a great example of how you can encourage your customers to join in with a charitable cause close to your business’s heart and use a popular day like Black Friday to promote it.
5. French Connection’s site-wide sale and competition
There’s so much hype around days like Black Friday that businesses can often feel pressured to launch the most creative and unique campaigns. Sometimes, less is more. So why not keep it simple and traditional like French Connection and offer a site-wide sale and limited-time promotional codes?
If you want to add some extra sparkle to your campaign, you could launch a weekend or week-long campaign and introduce a different promo code each day. The amount discounted could increase in the lead-up to Black Friday.
6. Cards Against Humanity’s reverse sale stunt
The controversial card game stayed true to its weird and wonderful roots by turning Black Friday on its head. Rather than giving customers exclusive discounts, Cards Against Humanity announced that they would pay customers instead.
You could win between $5-10,000 if you completed a random task that was released every 20 minutes. The task could be as simple as helping to advertise the brand’s Black Friday campaign website or fun like following a map to find $5,000’s worth of hidden treasure.
While this isn’t a campaign that every business can execute, it’s definitely one that might inspire you to think outside of the box when it comes to your Black Friday marketing.
7. Ikea’s buy back scheme
Another campaign with sustainability at its heart, global furniture retailer IKEA offered to buy back furniture that customers no longer needed, stopping it from going to landfill. As part of the Buy Back Friday campaign, customers could exchange their old furniture for IKEA vouchers (with no expiry date so customers can only buy what they need and not succumb to last-minute, impulse purchases).
The pre-loved furniture is then resold in IKEA Circular Hubs. If you were an IKEA Family Member, you’d receive an additional 20% on your voucher over the Black Friday period.
Similar to Raeburn, this is another great way to encourage your customers to shop more sustainably. And if you want to make your existing customers feel special, offer exclusive perks through your loyalty program and tie that in with your Black Friday event, like IKEA did.
Are you ready for Black Friday?
The creative examples from Black Friday 2021 may have inspired you for your upcoming campaign. What will you do to prepare? Do you know what your customers are expecting when it comes to brand engagement and the retail customer experience?
We polled over 4000 consumers globally to uncover their digital shopping habits, and analysed and broke down our findings in our Black Friday guide. If you’d like to dive in, download your own copy below.