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Top Brands that Won Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday

While the sales are what originally drove interest toward the day after Thanksgiving, the social conversation is now what keeps us involved. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday, while having a varying end goal, all have one thing in common – spending money. But what if companies gave away prizes on these days instead? What would happen if they tried to convince you not to shop? Well, some companies did just that.

REI

One of the most memorable parts of Black Friday this year would have to be REI’s #OptOutside Twitter Campaign. Starting about a month beforehand, the main idea was that all REI stores would be closed on both Thanksgiving and Black Friday, motivating others to “Opt Outside” and do something rather than shop in crowded stores. Being curious about the interesting call to action in their tweet, I did so and received a response.

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Visiting the link within their reply helped to find places locally where you could #OptOutside and even let you narrow it down to the particular activity you may be interested in. Their anti-campaign resulted in 1,408,117 people pledging to opt outside and doubled the brand mentions in comparison to the same time last year. The most impressive thing about this to me, while I did love the campaign, was that the company checked back in with everyone who retweeted their original post:
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REI made a point of reminding those who had pledged to go outdoors and that they still had time to do so. While this anti-campaign did get people active, many people also chose to shop online with REI, seeing a 26% one-day rise in traffic to their website on Black Friday.

Cards Against Humanity

Another interesting tactic this Black Friday was offering Cards Against Humanity customers the ability to purchase, well… nothing. While their “Frequently Asked Questions” section seems to sum up all questions you could have, my favorite answer stated that “On Black Friday, everybody is selling something. We’re the only company to offer the superior Black Friday experience of buying nothing.” In the past, the company has sold actual cow poop to customers and then donated the money they had received.

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On top of this, the company received emails regarding their purchase of nothing. While their customer service team has always been known to be a little brash, here is how they chose to respond to questions:

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Keep in mind, while the company sold absolutely nothing at all at the cost of $5, they still managed to make $71,145.

Zappos

A personal favorite of mine this holiday weekend was from Zappos. Their #Pawlidayz campaign covered the cost of adoption fees for dogs and cats from November 27th through November 30th across the US, and also donated an additional $150 for every pet adopted to help save the life of another pet. While donating money may not have been beneficial sales wise, it helped to promote their partner pet rescue, Best Friends, for further awareness and engagement. The bottom of the main #Pawlidayz page also contained accessories and items you could purchase for your future furry friend.

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Kohls

Last but definitely not least, Kohls utilized Twitter to the best of their ability. #KohlsSweepstakes was one of top trending hashtags during the weekend, utilizing more than 112,000 brand mentions. Giving away a total of 30 unique prizes on Twitter, and one grand prize winner of all 30 products, the company managed to drive plenty of interest through social.

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On top of Kohls’ giveaway, they also donated $1 for every #KohlsCares purchase on #GivingTuesday, making them one of the brands to best utilize both sides of the spectrum this past weekend. While Giving Tuesday only just began in 2012, more than 30,000 organizations signed up, close to doubling the previous numbers, and warranting some very well-known supporters like those at Christopher’s Haven:

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As you may have already noticed, all of these deals, perks, and campaigns were social. More sales and information on this shopping weekend is being pushed online, and even further toward mobile. Mobile sales are continuing to grow during the holidays, making creative solutions and product availability much more important.

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