Black Friday and Cyber Monday are a time to ramp up holiday sales and raise awareness for the greater good.
Here is a list of excellent BFCM campaigns to inspire your own marketing efforts. There are compelling deals, creative ideas to drive customer interaction, and promotions to encourage sustainability and reduce waste.
Cards Against Humanity
Cards Against Humanity has used multiple Black Fridays to run satirical promotions. In 2021, the game’s creators paid $5 to site visitors to perform various tasks. For example, donating teeth and asking Hellmann’s to bring back “Clam-o-naise.” In 2018, the promotion was a 99% off sale, with a new item every 10 minutes, including a used Ford Fiesta and medieval weapons. In 2020, Cards Against Humanity set aside the $250,000 for the planned Black Friday promotion and instead donated it to five charities.
For its 2020 Black Friday promotion, IKEA launched #BuybackFriday, repurchasing IKEA furniture to give it another life. The company followed it in 2021 by celebrating Green Friday all month with its Buy Back & Resell service in 33 stores across the U.S. from November 1 to December 5 and its Sustainable Living Shop in all U.S. locations, offering discounts on sustainable products.
Amazon ‘Black Friday Live’
In 2021, Amazon produced Black Friday Live in the U.K. The company opened its doors at Victoria House, London, inviting guests to enjoy four days of free events, celebrity experiences, live streams, and giveaways. The promotion included new ways for shoppers to support small businesses during Black Friday week with a gift finder, spotlight, and dedicated deals page.
In 2021, Google celebrated its second annual Black-owned Friday, a partnership with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., which reimagines Black Friday. To promote the event, musician and Nappy Boy Entertainment founder T-Pain wrote and produced a track and a shoppable video featuring more than 100 products from more than 50 Black-owned businesses. For the event, Google highlighted Black-owned businesses with a badge on Search, Maps, and Shopping.
REI has used Black Friday to forgo the busiest shopping day of the year and, instead, take to the outdoors. In 2015, the company began closing its doors on Black Friday with the #OptOutside campaign, paying employees to spend the day outdoors and inspiring others to join. Participants tagged Instagram images with #REIEmployee and #OptOutside to share their experiences.
In 2020, Walmart used TikTok for Black Friday promotions, giving away $200 E-Gift Cards to 100 winners. Shoppers entered the contest by posting videos with hashtags #UnwrapTheDeals and #Contest and applying the #UnwrapTheDeals TikTok effect to reveal their favorite sale items. Not only were consumers participating in the promotions, but they were also driving the campaign with user-generated content.
Patagonia ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket’
On Black Friday 2011 Patagonia placed a full-page ad in The New York Times with the headline “Don’t Buy This Jacket.” The company’s mission was to inspire ways to slow the environmental crisis, encouraging customers to think before buying, thus reducing consumption and producing more eco-sensitive products. As a result, Black Friday is a time for the company to renew that mission, encouraging its shoppers to join its Common Threads Initiative — a partnership to make, buy, and use clothes more sustainably, with the aim of keeping them out of landfills.
Fenty Beauty #Cyberweek
In 2021 Fenty Beauty extended its BFCM sale for the entire week of November 24 to 30. It offered 25% off sitewide and 75% off select merchandise. Influencers and followers generated content on social media, highlighting favorite sale products.
For Black Friday 2021, DECIEM, a company dedicated to vegan and cruelty-free beauty products, ran a month-long “Slowvember” sale. It offered a 23% discount to encourage conscious consumption instead of impulse purchasing.
Raeburn ‘Buy Nothing New’
Raeburn, a fashion brand repurposing fabrics and garments, used Black Friday 2021 to promote its remade sustainable-clothing ethos by celebrating garments in circulation. On Black Friday, Raeburn disabled its online shop, and one of its physical stores was taken over by a second-life clothing platform, selling used clothing from various brands.
Quirky sock maker ChattyFeet ran a #PutASockInIt charity campaign for Black Friday 2021. For each pair of socks purchased on its website, ChattyFeet donated two pairs to support homeless people in the U.K., sending more than 2,000 pairs in total.
MeUndies Facebook Live
MeUndies, an online underwear retailer, ran a Black Friday campaign in 2021 with an hour-long live sale on Facebook. To promote the event, MeUndies invited its 314,000 followers on Facebook and ran an ad targeting previous buyers who opened MeUndies emails but hadn’t purchased in a year. The live event included an announcer, dance contests, and discounts.
In 2021, Target extended BFCM with a week of deals. In mid-November, it released a preview of the items, available online and in stores from November 21 to 27. The company offered same-day services, including drive-up and in-store pickup, with no membership required. “We began offering holiday deals in October for those looking to shop early, and we’re continuing to deliver big savings all season long, including Black Friday week,” said Christina Hennington, executive vice president and chief growth officer of Target.