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Black Friday Blacklash

Monday, November 4th, 2013

You wouldn’t be alone if you felt like the mania surrounding Black Friday has reached a fever pitch. With the deals starting on Thanksgiving Day, sites like Black Friday Death Count, and #WalMartFights trending on Twitter, Black Friday increasingly feels like a spectacle to be observed rather than a sales event in which to participate. With an increasing amount of shopping being done online and the proliferation of daily-deal sites, the ‘now-or-never’ aspect of the shopping holiday also feels like it is starting to lose relevancy. Driven by an aversion to the hysteria surrounding Black Friday, there is a growing backlash against the event, an ‘Anti Black Friday.’

Typifying this movement is Patagonia’s recent film, ‘Worn Wear,’ a film that celebrates the emotional attachment to outdoor-wear that is developed through years of using a piece of quality gear.

Released on Black Friday, and echoing their iconic Don’t Buy This Jacket Black Friday email, it was screened at flagship stores across the country. Part of the company’s larger Common Threads Partnership, people were encouraged to bring old gear, have it repaired, or just show their pride in an article of clothing that was with them through years of adventure.

In addition to setting itself in stark opposition to the consumerist spirit of Black Friday, the testimonials are a brilliant way of delivering and building a strong brand message. By tapping into the insight that people who recreate in the outdoors often have a favorite (or lucky) piece of gear, (I certainly have mine) the company created a disruptive piece of marketing that communicated their core values and resonated beyond their target audience to create a huge impact during this busy retail time of year.

It’s just one of the ways that Patagonia makes you feel like you’re always buying more than just a piece of clothing (if you need to buy it at all).

Contributed by: Colin Simonds, Integer Denver

Photo Source: Patagonia email

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