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Black Friday marketing campaigns done right: 5 of the best

Black Friday marketing campaigns done right: 5 of the best
31 August 2023

We get it. Black Friday marketing campaigns can be hard work. But as tempting as it is to stick “[insert overly generous figure here]% off everything” banners all over your website and call it a day, you’re at risk of losing out on sales to competitors running more creative and engaging promotions if you do — and cutting through the noise is key during this notoriously busy sales period.

Of course, without a crack team of digital marketing experts to help drum up some inspiration, that’s easier said than done. So, instead, here’s our pick of 10 of the best Black Friday marketing campaign examples to do the job for you.

1. Patagonia’s “Don’t Buy This Jacket” campaign

Back in 2011, eco-conscious clothing label Patagonia bamboozled the masses by publishing a Black Friday ad in The New York Times telling people not to buy this jacket. While seemingly counterintuitive from a marketing perspective, the campaign incited meaningful change and created a lot of brand buzz.

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Whether the campaign was a genuine bid to raise awareness of consumerism or a smart attempt at reverse psychology is debatable, since it ultimately increased sales by 30%. Nevertheless, the viral nature of the campaign still succeeded in raising global awareness of an important issue. We’d call that a win, whichever way you slice it.

2. DECIEM’s “Slowvember” campaign

Unlike 99.9% of online retailers that only slash their prices over the Black Friday weekend, DECIEM take a slightly more relaxed approach to their Black Friday marketing campaigns.

The cult beauty brand’s annual November (aka Slowvember) sale encourages customers to shop slowly and deliberately throughout the entire month, preventing impulse buying and minimising waste while still motivating them to shop and take advantage of big discounts.

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Plus, by running a month-long Black Friday promotion, they also gain a competitive edge over brands that choose to put a 48-hour cap on their campaigns. Well played, DECIEM. Well played.

3. DROOL’s “Take My Money” campaign

Fun fact: Gen Z spent more than any other generation during Black Friday weekend in 2021. They also make up more than 60% of TikTok’s user base — you see where we’re going with this, don’t you? Seriously, though. If TikTok isn’t part of your Black Friday marketing strategy, it needs to be.

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And while “campaign” might be a bit of a stretch, we love this TikTok video from wall art brand, Drool. In fact, if you’re after a masterclass in TikTok marketing, then do yourself a favour and give their account a follow. They’re a great example of a brand that really knows how to capitalise on viral TikTok sounds and trends to promote their products chef’s kiss.

4. Barnes & Noble’s “Signed Editions” campaign

Who says Black Friday has to be all about the discounts? Booksellers Barnes & Noble threw a real curveball with their 2014 Black Friday marketing campaign, which saw them switch things up by selling a limited number of books signed by well-known authors in addition to their usual Black Friday sale. The campaign proved so popular that it’s since become an annual tradition.

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Depending on the type of products you sell in your ecommerce store, there’s no reason why you can’t capitalise on this Black Friday marketing tactic, too. Even better, if you sign up for a free Prodigi account, you can start selling your own limited-edition print on demand products straight away — no minimum orders or set-up costs required.

5. Cards Against Humanity’s “Give Us $5” campaign

Quite possibly one of the most outlandish Black Friday marketing campaigns of all time, the evil geniuses behind the hilariously inappropriate card game Cards Against Humanity had the audacity to ask their customers to send them money in return for absolutely nothing. And, plot twist: it actually worked.

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Granted, this type of campaign will only work for niche or quirky brands with a dedicated customer base, such as this one. But it just goes to show that it, quite literally, pays to think outside the box — $71,145, to be specific. Oh, and just in case you need to see it to believe it, here’s the proof.

To sum up…

There’s nothing wrong with doing Black Friday the traditional way (i.e. discounts, codes, time-sensitive offers, etc.), but these five Black Friday marketing campaign examples perfectly demonstrate the power of creativity in capturing consumer attention and driving sales, so don’t be afraid to experiment on 24th November!

Thinking of launching your own print on demand business in time for Black Friday? Don’t forget to check out our marketing 101 guide for more helpful tips on promoting your products.

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