Black Friday Campaigns: What to expect this year

Every year, Black Friday comes back bigger, better, and a little bit different. We’re talking overflowing shopping carts, secretly purchased Christmas gifts, and long-coveted favourites bought at unbelievable discounts.

Sales always make meteoric rises with great discounts being offered by marketers. While we anticipate whatever this year’s Black Friday will bring, we need to understand what deals and trends made the day worthwhile last year.

Image source: Shutterstock.


Here is a close look at the best Black Friday campaigns in 2020, with what you can expect this year and how you can make your campaigns stand out!


Early access

In 2020, many brands realised there was no harm in getting customers excited early. Brands like & Other Stories, Steve Madden, and Nespresso took up this strategy and hit it off with their customers before.

Nespresso’s campaign encouraged customers to set their sights on their Black Friday deals by informing them of their plans early. Customers would get valuable information and tips about the special day’s promotions if they agreed to fill out a form with their email addresses. Steve Madden hooked their customers by offering to pre-select items into their shopping carts in anticipation of Black Friday.

The fast-fashion brand took a similar approach by offering shoppers the option to pre-select the items in their shopping cart to launch a site-wide sale on Black Friday. Image source:


Big deals are still valuable

The sole purpose of Black Friday is to drive sales by offering irresistible discounts. Brands did not veer from this purpose, including Estee Lauder, Boohoo, and Asos.

Asos’s campaign had a comic book theme with a whopping 70% discount on everything. Boohoo offered a 50% discount on everything, while Estee Lauder gave 30% off all orders made.


Safety is the best deal

The COVID-19 pandemic changed many things throughout the year 2020, including Black Friday practices. Because most companies avoided the typical holiday-induced flood of shoppers, they opted for safer shopping practices such as online shopping, contactless pickup services, and social distancing.

Image source: Shutterstock.


Don’t stick to one day

More brands embraced the idea of extending the Black Friday spirit over many days. Once, it was a weekend plus the following Monday.

In 2020, however, brands like Best Buy and Walmart extended Black Friday for several days and even the whole month of November. This campaign covered many aspects, including shipping delays, early shopping, and COVID-inhibited crowds.


Audience engagement

As Amazon and Walmart, many brands remembered to keep their campaigns interactive. Walmart used TikTok to increase engagement by creating a #unwwrapthedeals challenge in which TikTokers would use a shoppable filter to unwrap virtual deals and win prizes.

Amazon conducted a live-event series for ten days to deliver engaging workshops and entertainment features.

The US giant gamified Black Friday deals by creating a challenge on Tiktok. Image source:


Appeal to the eye

As always, the best campaigns are those that are appealing to the eye. Among many others, Apple, Nike, Boohoo, and Eileen Fisher stood out with bold and captivating campaign designs and slogans.

Apple kept things elegant with classy visuals in a gift card deal; Nike opted for eye-catching neon colours and a promise of “outshining your excuses.”


Awareness of sustainability

Sustainability and eco-friendly practices had an exponential rise to popularity in 2020. Brands like Patagonia and Ikea hopped on the trend, offering discounts and deals to shoppers who took part in the sustainability practices.

Patagonia rewarded shoppers who repaired existing clothes, and Ikea allowed shoppers to trade and buy used furniture (#BuybackFriday). 

Ikea ran a campaign that encouraged customers in  27 countries to trade used furniture and receive an in-store credit voucher. Items that could not be resold were recycled or donated to communities in need. Image source: YouTube.



What to expect for Black Friday 2021 campaigns

An increase in user-generated content

Customers are more likely to shop when they see products being worn or used by real people. Accompany the product images with user-generated content for an effective campaign. 


Publicised customer ratings and reviews

These tend to have a greater impact when they are displayed alongside your products. Consider including reviews on web homepages, product pages, carts, and abandoned-cart emails.


Promotions and discounts

A tale as old as time, brands will dive deeper into encouraging customers to engage by promising rewards or even better deals and discounts.


Customer recovery

The agitated state of every Black Friday shopper often leads to multiple unfinished purchases. Brands have noticed this and are now more invested in reminding and encouraging distracted or discouraged buyers to finish the process, which is being done with popups and emails.


Dynamic content and design

Keep your customers interested and entertained by exploring eye-catching themes. Make the holiday even more fun and exciting than it already is!



Creating your super campaigns for Black Friday

  1. Use gift guides.
  2. Create a sense of urgency using compelling words, time limits, and the fear of missing out (FOMO).
  3. Keep it simple.
  4. Start campaigning early (even as early as the end of October).
  5. Give irresistible discounts and deals.
  6. Use words and designs that grab attention and motivate.
  7. Optimise SMS marketing.

Black Friday is a wonderful opportunity to make your sales do better than they have done all year long. With the right strategies and campaigns, you can shatter your record effortlessly.

Image source: Shutterstock.



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Written by: Ines Tome

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