With all the uncertainty of 2020, many diehard shoppers are wondering if Black Friday will simply be cancelled this year. Based on everything we are reading, the answer is definitely not, but it will look a little different this year.
We think video should play a central role in your holiday communication plans.
But, first – a little historical perspective…
Origins of Thanksgiving and Black Friday
As early as elementary school we all learned that the origins of Thanksgiving date back Pilgrims and Native Americans in the 1600’s. In reality, Thanksgiving only became an official holiday in 1941.
Historically it was President Washington who called for an official celebratory “day of public thanksgiving and prayer.” Nearly 100 years later, President Lincoln declared an official celebration of Thanksgiving for November 26, 1863. But it was FDR who made the day a recognized U.S. holiday. He signed a 1941 bill that officially established the fourth Thursday in November as the modern-day Thanksgiving we recognize today.
Separately, the exact lineage of the term “Black Friday” is more perky and traces back to 1869. It had nothing to do with the holiday or the Friday after. The term referred to a failed financial scheme when two investors tried to drive up the price of gold. The ensuing 20% market crash in September of that year was historically referred to as “Black Friday”.
The term surfaces again in the 1950’s and for the first time is associated with the holiday weekend. Local police in Philadelphia tried to manage huge crowds of tourists and shoppers in the area for the annual Army-Navy Football game on the Fridays after Thanksgiving. Later, area merchants tried to change the name to “Big Friday” but that name never caught on.
By the late 1980’s, “Black Friday” had spread nationally as it adopted a totally different backstory. The name is widely believed to refer to the weekend in which retail merchants finances went “from red to black”. Historically inaccurate, this is the story that is most commonly used to explain the meaning of “Black Friday” in consumer-retail terms.
Make it a Virtual Black Friday
For 2020, online purchases should be bigger than ever before on Black Friday. Retail traffic will likely be muted this year, so we suggest local businesses tune into ways that will make Black Friday more of a virtual event. Integrate video into your customer service.
Holiday Sale Video. Create a video that will stay fresh throughout the holiday selling season with tips on unique gift ideas as well as any special service offerings – free delivery, curb-side pick-up or concierge shopping.
Virtual Store Tours. Provide potential shopper with informative store tours that can highlight the unique feel of your business.
Video to Social. Make sure to use your active social channels to promote and distribute all general use and event oriented videos and segments.
Video to text. Don’t overlook the 1:1 appeal of embedding videos into customer chats. Consumers are looking for ways to make their lives easier and safer during this health emergency.
SteerPoint Media is ready to help your company brainstorm, plan and execute a comprehensive video strategy for the holidays and beyond.