Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Black Friday: The Results Are In!

As a follow up response to my original Black Friday posting I would like to provide some interesting information on the marketing efforts of 2 super giants; Macy’s and Wal-Mart. If any of you have opted-in to Advertising Age (and I suggest if you haven’t you do as it is very informative), you have probably seen this article in your inbox; however, I am going to take a different look so please keep reading!

So my original question was, how are retailers going to manage this day of all days, the day that officially kicks off the Holiday shopping season? Both Wal-Mart and Macy’s went about their marketing in noticeably different directions. Macy’s celebrated their 150th anniversary, Martha Stewart made a cameo in the “Believe” campaign, their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade brought national coverage and “price and promotion offers” ran rampant.

In contrast, Wal-Mart concentrated on the theme “saving you money to deliver special family moments” (Young, 2008). The popular “Carol of the Bells” featuring cashiers flicking the lights above the registers in time with Christmas music was a hit again this year and of course they featured price and promotion offers just as Macy’s did.

Now what did they do online? Wal-Mart fared better than Macy’s with emerging media tactics. Wal-Mart very effectively created a buzz when they leaked their holiday catalog a week and a half early and they employed “Black Friday comparison websites and search engines” (Young, 2008) and they actively promoted Cyber Monday activity.

Macy’s employed an electronic Believe Meter on their “Believe” microsite and they had a Santa letter kit which was downloadable for free. Finally, the “Be Claus” feature allowed consumers to upload a photo and make themselves into Santa Claus.

The meat of each company’s marketing campaign lies within their mobile marketing techniques! Here’s what tops the cake! Even though my poll last week revealed that 100% of respondents would not accept mobile marketing, consumers of Wal-Mart and Macys felt exceedingly different. As Santa’s float passed observers during Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade they received a text asking them whether they wanted to receive a free download.

Wal-Mart’s mobile campaign alerted consumer “with special holiday savings, instant gift ideas, recipes, product information and reviews” (Young, 208). Furthermore they could opt in by either dialing #WMT from their cell phones or visiting

In conclusion, I am happy to report that brand managers and marketing personnel have begun to actively, aggressively and positively employ emerging media in a successful manner. This trend will surely continue as we maintain the sophisticated means in which we live and interact with each other. Emerging media has proved to be an exciting turn for marketers and adds a very rich new dimension to the world of marketing.


Young, A. (2008, December 3). Macy’s vs wal-mart: the battle for black Friday. Advertising Age.

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