How Branded Content Can Save Your Black Friday Marketing Strategy

Blog How Branded Content Can Save Your Black Friday Marketing Strategy
14th October, 2020

Black Friday falls on 27 November, 2020, but are you ready to take advantage of the year's premier retail event?

There's no doubting its importance. In the USA, customers spend around $7.5 billion every November on seasonal bargains, while year-on-year UK sales black-friday-sales increased by 17% during Black Friday 2019. And figures suggest that the short period from Black Friday to Christmas now accounts for 30% of all annual sales. So you simply can't let the opportunity go to waste. With the event now more important than ever before, companies need to position themselves to benefit as much as possible.

At greatcontent, we know that Black Friday success is driven by strategic content and savvy marketing. And as we'll explain, branded content is one great option to choose when attracting those all important shoppers as the year's major sales event approaches.

Understanding Black Friday branded content

Before we list a few branded content ideas, it's helpful to define exactly what we mean. Branded content is content which discusses and promotes a brand, or the ideas surrounding that brand. It could deal with celebrity hook-ups, promote charitable activities, tell engaging stories about customer experiences, or celebrate racial justice.

In any case, it avoids simple sales language and product description. Instead, it seeks to build brand loyalty and reach customers via emotional appeals which can be more effective than salesmanship. But how does that actually relate to the Black Friday event? Let's find out more from the marketing bullpen.

Some branded content ideas that could pay off

1. Foot Locker's week of greatness

Athleisure retailer Foot Locker has chosen the end of November to stage its "Week of Greatness", and while it doesn't mention Black Friday (deliberately), it's obviously a branded content to capitalise on the sales event.

During this event, the retailer drops new designs from huge brands like Nike and Puma, generally with unique looks and customisation options, as well as celebrity endorsements from sports icons like Alex Morgan or pop culture figures like Megan Thee Stallion.

In 2019 each drop featured over the top videos themed around a light-hearted "end of the world" theme, with alien invasions and zombies appearing. And all fitted into Foot Locker's branded content strategy while boosting BlackFriday sales.

2. Pieminister's homeless activism

Other companies have used the buzz generated around Black Friday to mobilise giving to good causes, with the added benefit of a major brand boost. For instance, popular UK food retailer Pieminister has scheduled "Black Pieday" to coincide with the November retail event, and built a whole content strategy around mixing helping the homeless with marketing pies.

For the rest of the year, it may be hard to gain the attention of shoppers. But in late November, Pieminister had huge success by donating free food to the charity Shelter, and getting the news out via Facebook and Twitter.

3. Chubbies "Thighber Week" extravaganza

US-based beachwear retailer Chubbies has taken a different approach, using humour to boost its brand image while directing shoppers to Black Friday deals. During its irony-drenched "Thighber Week", the merchant matches the usual discounts with amusing content, self deprecating Facebook videos and other promotions.

Humour is generally a great option for branded content as Christmas approaches, but you do need to match your audience and your wisecracks. Chubbies know that their fans are youthful, social media savvy, and ready for a laugh, but poorly chosen gags can dent more serious brands. Still, it's definitely worth exploring.

4. Deciem's anti-Black Friday strategy

If you want to be really bold, the beauty brand Deciem offers a potential strategy. Deciem is a brand which promotes itself as off the beaten track, focusing on exceptional quality and sustainability. And in 2019 it chose to use that reputation in branded content which actually attacked Black Friday as a concept.

Appealing to anti-consumerist rebels, Deciem closed its doors on Black Friday and offered huge savings for the rest of November, while it pumped out content around ethical consumption. It's brave, unorthodox, but definitely reached its target demographic.

If you want a brand boost and soaring sales, branded content could play well

Launching a branded content campaign around Black Friday and Cyber Monday could complete your seasonal marketing jigsaw, but it needs to be done well. Poorly written or produced content can fall as flat as over-hyped discounts, so be sure to invest time and money in making your content as refined as possible.

Hopefully we've provided some food for thought regarding Black Friday ideas. And if you want to take branded content further, feel free to get in touch. We'll help you smash previous seasonal sales totals and take your branding to a new level.

Text: Sam Urquhart
Image: Hannah Troupe on

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