by Eleanor Collins
It’s that time of year again! Christmas is just around the corner, and with that so is the retail extravaganza we call Black Friday and its neighbouring cousin Cyber Monday. It’s safe to say that with a total spend of £8 Billion in the UK in 2017, it is the most intense shopping weekend of the year.
The weekend which takes place on the last weekend of November sees thousands of retailers discount their products, at times to lower than 50 per cent off. To receive money off anything is always a bargain, especially when it’s that new pair of shoes, or the latest Ipad you’ve had your eye on for ages. However, coupled with the joy you feel when your make your purchase you may also have had a difficult journey to receive it. One image that always sticks in our minds when we think of Black Friday is lines of eagerly awaiting shoppers jostling for positions outside of stores to begin the wrestling match to snatch 50 inch TV’s off the shelves.
Unbelievably, there is actually a website that records the number of deaths and injuries that can be related to Black Friday shopping. Since the site began in 2006 there have been 10 fatalities and 105 recorded injuries occurred in the pursuit of finding a bargain.
We have compiled a list of our favourite Black Friday campaigns most of which have opposed the norm:
1) PATAGONIA #LOVEOURPLANET
Back in 2016, outdoor clothing company Patagonia decided to go one step further than their already popular environmental initiative of one per cent to our planet, and agreed to give 100 per cent of their global online profits from Black Friday sales to non-profit grass root organisations, in a bid to help provide clean air, water and soil for everyone.
The day in question exceeded Patagonia’s expectations of $2 Million in sales and raised a staggering $10 Million. The #loveourplanet accompanied the campaign, and flourished as it wasn’t what people were expecting. The excitement of buying new products as well as tapping into their consumers conscience, gives customers the knowledge that their spend is helping make the world a better place and this is what made this campaign hugely successful.
2) HUBBUB – BRIGHT FRIDAY
Hubbub is a small UK charity who creates environmental campaigns, and before Black Friday 2016 had conducted their own research in the run up to launching their own alternative day ‘Bright Friday’. They found that most shoppers who purchase items over the discount weekend often can’t afford it and buy things just for the sake of it, only for the item to never be used or worn again.
With this in mind, Hubbub held a series of events over a weekend in Brighton. Participants of the event were encouraged to create new outfits out of clothes they already own, and borrow and swap from others.
3) REI #OPTOUTSIDE
Another outdoor clothing company REI also decided to go against the grain in 2015, when instead of encouraging their customers to stay inside online shopping or in store, they promoted the complete opposite.
The company encouraged everyone to head to the great outdoors and closed down their stores on Black Friday, suspending all e-commerce shopping and giving each of its 12,000 employees a paid day off work. The hashtag #Optoutside received 1.2 billion impressions on social media and was so successful they have repeated the same campaign for the last 4 years.
4) CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY - $5 INCREASE
Risque card game, Cards Against Humanity were so against discounting their products for Black Friday they actually increased the price of their game by $5. Originally they had planned to discount their product by $0.01 as a joke but decided against it in favour of going one step further.
Amazon were hesitant at first to let Cards Against Humanity increase the price of their game, however as absurd as it is, they sat back to watch their sales rise year upon year. The ‘sale’ was widely recognised across the globe and achieved millions of impressions on Twitter and Tumblr.
5) SHOPIFY – ALL PAWS ON DECK
Last but definitely not least on our list of top five Black Friday campaigns comes from e-commerce store Shopify. Those who are working in retail over the most intense shopping weekend of the year know that it is also the busiest. This can range from the manufacturing of products, to the call centres that deal with those in search of a bargain.
However, Shopify assured consumers that everything was under control and customers have nothing to worry about in the form of a cute dog wearing a headset with the wording ‘all paws on deck’- and who doesn’t love pictures of cute dogs?