Black Friday has become such an annual shopping extravaganza that U.S. consumers had spent 23% of their holiday budgets on average by the end of October in 2022.
But is it the offer that grabs your attention, or the way it is announced?
Come on, let’s not pick our brains now! Instead, let’s look at the top Black Friday marketing campaigns that swept the digital platform to draw inspiration for your future campaigns.
Top Black Friday marketing campaigns
Explore 28 Black Friday marketing campaigns of both small and large-scale businesses that blew marketers’ minds and leverage the takeaways you get from here to plan successful campaigns from now on!
Amazon's campaign featured a lonely Yeti who was seeking companionship during the holiday season. With Amazon’s early Black Friday sale, the Yeti could save big on the hairdryer and attend a party with groomed hair. This 15-second video wasn’t anything extraordinary but hooked the audience till the end. It created an emphasis on a sense of community and connection through the shopping experience.
Amazon successfully blended storytelling and interactivity, creating a memorable and engaging experience for users. The campaign's focus on emotional connection during the holidays highlights the importance of tapping into human emotions for effective marketing.
A fun promo
What does this video remind you of? Fox studios? Marvel? Warner Bros? Everything! This Australian apparel company took to social media with a humorous take on the Black Friday sale. They created an engaging promo video that resonated with audiences of all age groups.
Injecting fun and humor into marketing campaigns can help brands stand out during the competitive Black Friday period and there is no medium better than social media to do this.
3. Bed Bath & Beyond
For the house
It's hard not to get excited when Black Friday sales come around. Thus, the promo video is shot from the customer's point of view. In the video, the lady is convincing herself that every item she’s getting is ‘for the house’. This also projects the guilty pleasure of shopping during the sale — something that the audience can relate to. You can also spot a variety of products that the company has naturally placed in the video which is a genius move.
When trying to engage the target audience uniquely, don't forget to put yourself in your audience's shoes to see from their perspective. Bed Bath & Beyond, also focused on marketing products that could give their audiences’ houses a makeover.
Early access email by “accident”
Brooklinen sent out an "accidental" early access email to customers, providing them with exclusive deals that made them curious about the email and the offers. The company acknowledged the “mistake” (later cited that it was unquestionably intentional), turning it into a unique and unexpected marketing opportunity.
Embracing and creatively addressing mistakes can turn them into positive PR and marketing opportunities. Creating exclusivity and urgency can be a powerful motivator for customers during Black Friday sales.
5. Chatty Feet
It was the year 2021 when a sock company like Chatty Feet created a twist with their anti-Black Friday campaign where they called out overconsumption of products with a hashtag that said, ‘Put a sock in it’. Literally asking the brands to do it. To drown out the sale noise, the brand pledged to donate two pairs of socks to charity for every pair purchased before Cyber Monday. They eventually became the talk of the town while promoting their product creatively on the side.
Chatty Feet took a risk with a playful and bold approach to marketing their socks. At the same time, they also did not forget to contribute their part to society while remaining trendy. Remember to be socially responsible with your brand even in the grind to get to the top.
When the deals “leaked”
Costco created a sense of excitement by framing their Black Friday deals as if they were leaked ahead of time. They used suspenseful and secretive marketing to pique interest. This created a buzz among the audience giving them an idea of exclusive and insider information.
Building anticipation and curiosity can be a powerful strategy for driving engagement. Creating a narrative around the exclusivity of Black Friday deals can influence their perceived value.
Davines made a smart and sensible move by turning Black Friday into Green Friday. Last year, they decided to donate all their profits made online to support environmental causes. They won hearts while staying true to their brand values.
Positioning a brand as socially responsible can resonate well with consumers, especially during a time associated with high consumption. Connecting consumers through shared values, such as social conscience, can build long-term loyalty.
8. DB Cosmetics
Who wouldn’t love a freebie? And that too for anything you shop (conditions applied)! That was the Black Friday offer DB Cosmetics announced. This move encourages immediate action from consumers to take advantage of the gift.
Incentivizing purchases with gifts can be an effective way to boost sales during promotional periods. With limited-time offers and freebies, you can create urgency and drive customer action.
9. Dude Dad
The infamous golden ticket
Have you ever dreamt of winning a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s factory? Taking inspiration from the same concept, the content creator, who goes by the name Dude Dad created a quirky Black Friday promo video for his online merchandise shop. He donned as Willy Wonka and offered that any three lucky buyers who made purchases above $50 golden tickets would receive golden tickets. Well, you don’t get to visit the almost murderous chocolate factory (sorry, Wonka!) but still stand to receive exciting prizes.
Dude Dad played on the excitement and rarity associated with golden tickets. It is a perfect example of a promotion with pop-culture references. Limited, exclusive rewards can create engagement among shoppers and increase brand affinity.
10. ELF Cosmetics
The beauty squad
ELF Cosmetics took advantage of their email list sign-ups where the members who joined their ‘beauty squad’ exclusively get access to a box full of goodies at a discount price. To spread the word, they leveraged the power of their social media influence. They collaborated with influencers and made product-specific videos.
Promote your brand where your audience resides. Here, ELF Cosmetics had a good social media following base and so, they made the most of it. Similarly, analyze your audience and see how and where you can connect with them.
Google’s Black Friday theme spotlighted Black-owned businesses, showcasing a diverse range of products and services.
It also used its platform to increase the visibility of Black-owned businesses, making it easier for users to discover through the keyword “Black owned shops near me” and support them.
Google’s platform is a major example of a medium showing its commitment to social responsibility by actively supporting and promoting underrepresented businesses. They also created a more diverse and thriving business landscape encouraging shoppers to make mindful consumer choices.
Only sale of the year
Glossier's campaign highlighted the exclusivity of their Black Friday sale, positioning it as the only sale of the year. This exclusive sales period created urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out) among customers. It is an instance of them reinforcing the value of their products uniquely.
Positioning Black Friday as a unique, annual event can make it more interesting for customers. Promoting the rarity of discounts on products can create excitement among your audience.
If not for the customers, why do we run a brand and promote it? Gymshark understood the mission and created a Black Friday wish list guide to help customers navigate their deals. This helped customers to make informed
Customer experience is important and providing guidance and curated lists can help customers navigate through a plethora of deals. Focusing on the customer journey and experience can contribute to a positive brand perception.
Early access sale
Especially around Black Friday week, it is a treat for fashion enthusiasts to get their hands on the latest designs at a lesser price and H&M never misses out on an opportunity on this. The multi-national clothing company that focuses on fast fashion is a favorite among the crowd. Taking advantage of their popularity, H&M announces early offers for their online members. This creates FOMO among outsiders thus making them sign up to enjoy the exclusive access.
Creating offers on a wide product range that appeals to current fashion trends can attract diverse customer segments. Additionally, combining exclusive perks for loyal customers during Black Friday can enhance brand loyalty.
IKEA's #BuybackFriday campaign involved a sustainability-focused campaign encouraging customers to sell or recycle their old furniture with IKEA where they receive credit vouchers worth up to 50% of the item’s value. Some of the unsellable items were recycled or donated to communities. It showcased a perfect example of aligning Black Friday with eco-conscious practices.
Promoting eco-friendly practices, especially during Black Friday can attract environmentally conscious consumers. Also, being responsible and ethical can improve your brand reputation.
Limited edition orangutan soap
Being an organic brand, Lush took their Black Friday Marketing Campaign to another level. They launched exactly 14,600 soaps shaped like orangutans to establish their value as a brand that is eco-friendly. 14,600 were the exact number of orangutans that existed in 2017. Moreover, all profits from this campaign were donated to the Orangutan Information Center to raise awareness of the extinction threat to orangutans.
Cause marketing during Black Friday can create a positive brand image and resonate with socially conscious consumers. Combining a charitable component with promotions can differentiate a brand in a crowded market.
Drawer Buster Event
MeUndies hosted a Facebook live event with a dance contest and a DJ. Over 3,00,000 Facebook followers joined, and they eventually had to spread the word to their connections who also joined. Why? As more people join live, the more discounts the brand reveals. It was successful and resulted in over 13,000 attendees who converted at a rate of 25%.
With 91% of businesses using video marketing as a weapon, including live video to engage customers in real-time is a good idea. This gains customer engagement along with creating a sense of immediacy and exclusivity. It is also a perfect example of how incorporating exclusive deals during live events can drive sales.
‘Buy Less, Demand More’
Patagonia’s Black Friday Campaign from 2021 is an impactful campaign that promotes a message of conscious consumption. Their video encourages the consumer to make thoughtful and sustainable purchase decisions. They emphasized quality over quantity, aligning with the brand's commitment to environmental responsibility.
Advocating for mindful and sustainable shopping aligns with growing consumer values. Communicating a brand's commitment to ethical practices can also build trust and loyalty.
19. Puma India
Puma India collaborated with their influencers creating a playful and attention-grabbing campaign on social media. Pictures of famous lookalikes were circulated where they were seen posing in front of the pop-up stands selling ‘fake’ Puma merchandise. The real influencers also became a part of the campaign by calling out Puma on social media. So much so that the company even made its website appear to have been hacked. But the ultimate message was? Everything can be spoofed, but Black Friday shopping deals? They are 100% real.
Influencer marketing can make a brand's campaign memorable. If you add a tinge of humor and relatability into your marketing campaigns, it can drive engagement.
Last year, Samsung introduced a reverse auction model, where prices decrease instead of rising. This bidding built excitement and a sense of competition among customers. The campaign was promoted through a series of videos as breaking news on TV. Along with existing products, new items were introduced in between. And the outcome? Over 50,000 people attended, and nearly 50% of the recommended retail price was saved on purchases.
Innovative pricing models, like reverse auctions, can create a unique and engaging shopping experience. Make campaigns interactive where the competition spirits can hastily drive customer participation.
Sephora removed shipping charges during the Black Friday weekend along with giving 50% off on their products. Not only can this attract new customers but it also leads to impulse buying.
Eliminating or reducing shipping costs can be a powerful incentive for online shoppers. Improving the overall customer experience can contribute to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
22. Space Camp
Buy now, experience later
Space Camp offered a unique Black Friday deal, allowing customers to purchase experiences to be redeemed later. By offering early registrations for summer camps and seminars at discounted prices, they get their customers to expect future services excitedly.
Offering experiential purchases or gift cards for future use can appeal to customers seeking the best shopping experiences. Aligning promotions with the anticipation of experiences can create a positive and lasting impression.
23. Supercheap Auto
Pitch black sale
This Australian auto accessories retailer came up with a promo for Black Friday featuring a narrator who crashes into their products as the lights go out. The 45-second-long video is funny, narrative, and informative.
Understanding and meeting the unique needs of a niche market can contribute to campaign success and tailoring Black Friday promotions to this can effectively reach targeted customer segments.
Holiday price match guarantee
Target came up with a unique extended Black Friday campaign that lasted for over a month. Its holiday campaign guaranteed that if a product is purchased early and the price is reduced, the customer can get a refund for the difference. It also guaranteed to match its competitors’ (like Walmart and Macy’s) pricing within 14 days of purchase. This way customers wouldn’t have to look out until the price drop to its lowest.
Coming up with ideas that make your competitors sweat as well is something that’s difficult to pull off. Addressing your customers’ needs and solving them is the best move you could ever make.
The Spanish unisex jewelry brand made a five-minute movie to promote their product as part of the Black Friday campaign. The visual storytelling, cast, making, and everything was on point. It is a story about robbing 10 million euros worth of jewelry at a casino bank and is sure to grab your eyeballs if you’re a jewelry lover. The movie was launched on their Instagram account and in the next 24 hours movie got 5 million views and the brand dealt with over 5000 orders. Imagine the power of storytelling here!
Creative storytelling and themed campaigns can make a brand's Black Friday promotions more memorable. Choosing the right platform can generate excitement and curiosity that can drive customer engagement.
26. The Verge
The Verge is an American technology news website that sparked curiosity among their users with a mystery bag full of free gadgets. Imagine the hype it would have created. All the user had to was follow the @VergeDeals Twitter/X account and enter the competition. The best part is that you could even enter again with just a retweet.
Adding mystery and capitalizing on the excitement can drive impulse purchases. The best way to do this is to make your customers interact with you.
Michael Bolton ft.
Walmart's Black Friday campaign with Michael Bolton, titled "Deals for Days," was a clever and nostalgic marketing strategy that successfully engaged audiences and promoted the retailer's Black Friday deals, especially for Walmart Plus members. The campaign featured the iconic singer Michael Bolton reprising his role from the cult classic film Office Space.
Celebrity endorsement, emotional connection, and cultural relevance are some elements that you can see incorporated in this video. Again, produce content that your audience can resonate with while promoting what the brand can offer.
28. 22 Days Nutrition
Random discount codes
Imagine finding out random discount code in your email. How would you feel about that? That’s what plant-based health food company, 22 Days Nutrition had done for one of their Black Friday sales. Sending out discounts ranging from 20%-30% to their members on emails.
Adding a surprise element like random or personalized discount codes can enhance the customer experience to a great extent and a sense of exclusivity.
This move could generate sales and bring more traffic to the website.
Fire up your upcoming campaigns
These campaigns showcase the diversity of marketing strategies, including sustainability, cause marketing, live events, digital subscriptions, influencer collaborations, innovative pricing models, and niche targeting. Each approach reflects the brand's identity and values, contributing to a unique and memorable customer experience.
Now that we’ve shared tips and ideas on how to curate your next Black Friday campaign, what is your next step?
Execution of the campaign, of course!
A lot of effort goes into creating a Black Friday marketing campaign.
We personally believe a creative operation platform like Artwork Flow can help you execute not one but multiple campaigns. It has features like workflow automation, digital asset management, smart proofing, an AI background generator tool, scaling, and much more to help you execute your dream campaign flawlessly.
If you’re curious enough to check it out, sign up for free!
It’s that time of the year again to watch out for the best offers (and also wallets) for shoppers!