Black Friday is the pinnacle of consumerism, a day for brands to promote discounts and drive sales to kick off the vital holiday shopping period.
A study shows around 20% of annual retail revenue comes from holiday sales. With jewelry, department stores, and clothing representing the top three categories most reliant on the influx of holiday shoppers.
With COVID-19 in full effect, retail marketers must consider new methods, channels and strategies in order to market solely through digital and social media channels, break through the competitive marketing noise, and reach holiday consumers effectively.
We examine two recurring Black Friday campaigns and reveal how they are heightening holiday campaign success through strategic influencer partnerships.
REI’s #OptOutside is arguably the most notable Black Friday marketing campaign to date.
Since 2015, REI has been closing its doors (and website) on Black Friday to encourage its shoppers to spend time outdoors and focus on nature instead of consumerism.
By shifting away from typical Black Friday messaging, and seamlessly upholding its company values, REI’s #OptOutside campaign became an environmental movement with tremendous impact.
The original campaign broke ground utilizing the company’s 12,000 employees as brand ambassadors, outdoor advertising, paid and earned media. The traction gained from REI’s 2015 PR stunt has transformed into a recurring national campaign with over 200 different non-profit partners.
REI’s partnership with nano-influencer and yoga instructor Adina Crawford received praise and positivity from the brand’s Instagram audience. All of November REI has partnered with smaller influencers to create authentic branded channel content and help build exposure and support for tight-knit social organizations as a part of their environmentalist mission.
America’s largest retailer Walmart has become synonymous with Black Friday due to its low-cost positioning and its competition based “early bird gets the worm” shopping environment.
In 2019 Walmart became one of the first notable brands (amongst Kroger, Gymshark and other pioneering brands) to advertise on TikTok.
Walmart launched the #DealDropDance, a Hashtag Challenge Plus campaign that allowed users to shop products on Walmart within the TikTok app. Partnering with six top dance creators, the TikTok campaign hashtag generated over 3.6 billion views and collectively reached over 17 million TikTok users.
Building on the previous year’s TikTok success, Walmart launched its #UnwrapTheDeals Black Friday campaign with notable modifications to emphasize online shopping convenience amid COVID-19.
Walmart partnered with TikTok comedian @muslimthicc to showcase their AI filter Black Friday deals. The campaign also featured TikTok influencer family, The J Family. By broadening its campaign target demographics from its previous Gen Z-focused 2019 Black Friday Campaign, Walmart is able to extend its reach and diversify the potential consumer TikTok audience.