4 Unique Black Friday Stories You May Not Have Heard

Since its ”humble” beginnings in the 1950s, Black Friday has cemented itself into our yearly festivities. People prioritize it, gather together, and camp out just to await the special deals that will define their holiday experience. This tradition is a day created for and centered around consumers and consumerism.

New (completely made up) holidays like Black Friday have emerged - Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Green Wednesday and even separate days like Prime Day. It’s no surprise that Amazon and Walmart swept the floor with mobile sales on Black Friday. Adobe Analytics showed that overall foot traffic sales decreased and mobile sales significantly rose 23.6% from 2017 to $6.22 billion in online sales.

So what are the stories that aren’t highlighted in every Black Friday recap article? How do these specific brands below uniquely position themselves to stand out alongside the strong retail leaders?

1) 7-Eleven

When Black Friday comes to mind, images of giant flat screens and smartphones may float through your head - beverages are not necessarily the first thing on the mind. 7-Eleven, however, did an excellent job at celebrating their loyalty members by offering them a deal on pizza (all that shopping is certainly tiring and who doesn’t like it hot n’ ready?) as well as common patrons with BYOC (Bring Your Own Cup) deals.

Any cup - vases, vapes, vuvuzelas, or even aquariums -  with a 10 in diameter can be filled up for 1.49. The promotion flooded people into the store, got them excited to share their “cup” on social.  It was a great way to gain exposure, show appreciation, and get noticed on one of the busiest days of the year!

2) Chili’s

Chili’s capitalized big time on Cyber Monday. They released a merchandise line full of story-inspired wear that included media-related items from hit shows like “The Office.” (Doesn’t everyone feel God whenever they enter a Chili’s nowadays?) The clothing was featured on social media to increase customer interest and buzz. Though the campaign did not center around food, it occurred during a prime holiday and definitely gives followers a taste of the brand’s culture. By connecting with consumers through relatable content or products, Chili’s put itself on the radar to be top of mind above other restaurants.

Chili’s actions are a testament to the creativity and liberty restaurant brands can take when it comes to offering deals to their consumers and loyal followers.

3) Cards Against Humanity

The humorous card playing game maintained it’s over-the-top, comedic brand voice on Black Friday by offering the deal of a lifetime - 99% off. Instead of paying the list price of $2,000, for a Cards Against Humanity Absurd Box, they offered it for the low, low price of  $20.

This campaign was playful and obviously satirical - poking fun at retailers who overprice “sale” items and risk losing the consumer’s trust. The brand maintained their voice while trying to get a chuckle out of the consumer to close a deal.

Cards Against Humanity held a satirical campaign offering 99% off of all items.

4) REI

Fluorescent lights and endless shopping is a great way to walk off the Thanksgiving turkey and get a healthy dose of Vitamin D, right?

This outdoor recreation retailer  took the opposite approach to the typical Black Friday circus by closing their stores and urging their customers to go outside! Instead of taking advantage of the monumental “holiday,” REI pushes consumers to #OptOutside - promoting a campaign that reflects the brand’s values and focuses on the consumer’s wellbeing.

There is certainly some value to take away from all the brands who participated in offering Black Friday deals. The brands above represent different industries that used the day as an opportunity to showcase their unique voices and personalities in a busy market.

Who were some brands that stood out to you? What tactics caught your eye?