Friday, November 25

Black Friday Advertising

After a day spent with family yesterday for Thanksgiving, I have to say that I am over ... Black Friday advertising!  It was relentless.  Of course we spent the day gathered around the table and gathered around the tv, so we had our fill of stuffing and retailers all trying to one-up each other for Black Friday specials.

The heavy hitters were in full force:  Kohl's, Sears, TJMaxx, JCPenney, Home Depot, and of course Walmart who had several spots.  None of them I would say resonated.  In fact, most were rather annoying ... happy shoppers and competing prices just don't move me.  Just saying.

I think it's getting to be all a little too much.  Stores, like Toys 'R Us, opening at 9:00pm.  C'Mon!  There were reports this morning of a shopper at Walmart using pepper spray to get ahead of the crowds.  It's getting beyond crazy and I'm starting to feel like maybe I just don't get it.

BUT ... I would like to call out a couple of creative standouts in the Black Friday advertising.  That part is fun!

First there's Target.  Target made online headlines this week ... criticized for making employees work on the holiday and then there a petition to get the retailer to close for the day.  Yet we see the return of our beloved "Target Lady" --- the crazy shopper who has a personality to die for.  This year we saw a few spots from last year as well as some new executions mixed in.  Love it.  Is she representative of the Black Friday shopper?  Maybe.  But she's entertaining to watch.

Then there's Macy's.  Macy's "owns" Thanksgiving with the parade, well at least Thanksgiving on tv at least.  Well at least Thanksgiving on tv in the morning, let's say that.  Then it all turns over to football.  But this year Macy's was ever-present all day long with a new spot featuring Justin Bieber for Black Friday at Macy's, hyping his new fragrance.  It's very creative, and no matter how many times I saw it, it made me laugh.

Are these two spots insanely innovative or insightful?  No.  But they're fun and at least not shouting about low prices on electronics or longer shopping hours.  All that shouting isn't going to get me to your store.  A little entertainment just might.

I should also mention the advertising from American Express for Small Business Saturday, but I'm waiting for that on a separate post with a little surprise!  :)

As far as Black Friday ... I'm not participating as a shopper.  It's just too too much for me.  But I will watch from a far as a marketer ... after all, marketing is a spectator sport!

What's your experience?  Jim.

Jim Joseph
President of Lippe Taylor
Author of The Experience Effect


  1. Love the Macy's ad ... Cracks me up!!

  2. I like the Macy's ad. Very clever and a fun take on Justin that reaches wider than his fan base of teens. Plus I like the St. Jude tie-in.

    I'm with you - I would never shop today. As a shopper I am patient enough to look for the best deal, but I don't want to be among the crowds and traffic that comes with the Black Friday shopping experience. I drove by a Five Below last night and they even had a line outside the store. I can understand places like Best Buy if you can save a few hundred dollars on a TV, but everything in Five Below is already $5.00 or less. That's why I believe there is something --- shall we say psychological -- about Black Friday shopping.