Though the trend of the shopping peak before Christmas originated from the US, it seems to have caught on in the UK, with online retailers pushing for Black Friday deals all over the place it would seem. This image is from Amazon UK:
What really IS Black Friday?
Well, according to Google and Wikipedia, Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving in the US, and marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season…
The day’s name originated in Philadelphia, where it originally was used to describe the heavy and disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic which would occur on the day after Thanksgiving.
When did Black Friday start?
Use of the term started before 1961 and began to see broader use outside Philadelphia around 1975. Later an alternative explanation was made: that retailers traditionally operated at a financial loss (“in the red”) from January through November, and “Black Friday” indicates the point at which retailers begin to turn a profit, or “in the black”. For many years, it was common for retailers to open at 6:00 a.m., but in the late 2000s many had crept to 5:00 or even 4:00. This was taken to a new extreme in 2011, when several retailers (including Target, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Best Buy, and Bealls) opened at midnight for the first time.
Why has it spread to the UK?
Amazon and Apple have recently introduced Black Friday to countries outside of America and Canada, such as the United Kingdom. A number of other online and instore companies are now celebrating the American tradition, although the majority appear skeptical, with one trade publication labelling it ‘simply an Americanism, which doesn’t translate very well.’ Read Retail Week: Why we should ignore Black Friday in the UK.
So, will you be shopping this Friday? Without Thanksgiving being a factor, have you already started hunting for discounts? Let the Shopper Discounts & Rewards team know!
Sainsbury’s could have taken the crown from John Lewis this year, with a 4 minute advert about the trenches on Christmas Day in World War One.
Many of us know the story about the troops playing football together, both the English and the Germans, but this portrayal gives the story real context and depth.
From the YouTube upload, Sainbury’s gives the following statement:
Made in partnership with The Royal British Legion, it commemorates the extraordinary events of Christmas Day, 1914, when the guns fell silent and two armies met in no-man’s land, sharing gifts – and even playing football together.
With the major retailers and supermarkets with their Christmas Adverts all out, which do you prefer? Has Sainsbury’s made a film to rival John Lewis’Monty the Penguin?
Click on this image from rival Tesco’s Christmas Advert 2014 to see the full video:
Would love to know which is your favourite, so please comment below!Tweet
No celebrities for Marks and Spencer Christmas Advert
The Marks and Spencer Christmas Advert for 2014 brings back the notion of ‘magic and sparkle’ from last year’s advert, but in the form of two fairies. M&S have gone the ‘non celebrity’ route, and actually it seems to work very well. Watch the advert in full here:
The advert, to the soundtrack of Julie London’s Fly Me To The Moon, is enchanting, with sweet references to family time and also finding love. What do you think?
This morning John Lewis unveiled their Christmas Advert for 2014, featuring Monty the Penguin, and you can watch it in full here:
The soundtrack is Tom Odell’s Real Love, which some have described as “overly sentimental“.
The story is a fairly simple one. A small boy has what he thinks is a pet penguin, and it shows them having fun together: watching TV, playing in the snow, the penguin sleeping on the end of the bed. Through the film we see the boy recognise that Monty the Penguin is lonely, and so he presents him with a mate on Christmas Day morning. It is then that we see through the parent’s eyes as he holds two toy penguins under the Christmas tree. The film ends with these words:
Give someone the Christmas they’ve been dreaming of
What do you think of the John Lewis Christmas Advert for 2014? Do you like the story?Tweet
It looks like Hilco gave HMV a massive shot in the arm, as the company looks set to reclaim its crown as Britain’s biggest entertainment retailer, according to the Telegraph.
Hilco bought HMV out of administration in April last year, saving 2,500 jobs and 125 of the chain’s 400 stores.
… but will they catch Christmas trade?
This turnaround, reported in August, may just mean that HMV does well this Christmas, when it comes to presents of music, DVD boxsets and films. With new stores opening in town centres, HMV looks ready to sell, sell, sell over the festive period, but there will be heavy competition. Being a physical store has advantages over Amazon in terms of availability and worry about shipping times, but the store will have to bring something else to the table: real value for customers.
HMV chairman Paul McGowan, chief executive of Hilco
“It’s only a matter of time before we overtake Amazon.“HMV is re-engaging with music shoppers and getting them back into shops. This is about being an authority in music, not selling music as a commodity.”
Here’s another whiskey advert with a bit of class, as David Beckham joins a group of models in the Scottish Highlands to share a glass of whiskey and a photo opportunity.
The advert is now live on YouTube, and will appear on UK TV screens tonight, Friday 17th October 2014. See the full length Haig Club advert here:
In case you were wondering, the soundtrack to the ad is Left Hand Free by Alt-J.
The Guardian reports: “Given Alcohol Concern has given David Beckham a bit of stick for promoting a booze brand, after spending most of his football career teetotal, it’s not surprising that he is not actually seen having a sip of the product he helped develop alongside brand Beckham impresario Simon Fuller.”
Nevertheless, we think that it’s a great advert and could put Haig Club at the top of the Christmas list this year for whiskey lovers.
The latest instalment of the Kia hamster advert series introduces a “sexy” new character in the form of a female hamster, transformed into a full size shapely icon after being ‘zapped’ by the car making machine. Here she is, emerging from the Kia Soul EZ…
The new hamster character
And here she is introduced, in all her (slightly creepy) glory:
The male hamsters then appear to completely shun her as they rush to the new-look car and whizz off into the distance, but it’s clear what their intentions are when they return.
They race back from the pet shop armed with pet hamsters, only to ‘zap’ them and create a dancing possy of human-sized female hamsters. The best part of the advert is probably the dance, performed to Maroon Five’s new song Animals.
You can actually learn the dance over on the Kia YouTube channel!
What do you think of the new Kia advert? Are the hamsters really funny or just a bit weird?
In the latest phase of the popular Compare the Meerkat advert series, Aleksandr and Sergei take their adopted pup Oleg to his ‘homeland’ of Africa. Aleksandr describes a zebra as a ‘stripy… pyjama… horse’ and leads Oleg to a watering hole, before being scared off by a herd of Elephants. This looks to be the first in a series of adverts about Oleg in Africa, so lots to look forward to for Compare the Meerkat fans!
The Safari series
This advert series is seamlessly linked to a new toy that Compare the Market has introduced to it’s Compare the Meerkat offering for customers looking for insurance.
This is the description of the new toy on the Compare the Meerkat website:
“This is limited edition Oleg you can adopt by demonstrates you know the difference. Arriving on your doorstep in Africa themed box inspire by his homeland. He will be just as cute as the real Oleg but 89% less dusty. Oleg will be wear specials designer pyjama horse themed baby grow with fresh nappy underneath perfectly fitted by Sergei”
What do you think of the new advert? Is the safari Oleg toy worth trying Compare the Market for car or house insurance? Comment below or tweet @ShopAndReward!Tweet
Excitement for Assassin’s Creed fans as this week it was announced that there are two new games coming soon – Rogue and Unity. PS3 and Xbox 360 users will be pleased that Ubisoft is bringing out a game for these consoles, as well as developing Unity for the PS4.
About Assassin’s Creed Rogue
As it’s described on the official website:
“18th century, North America. Amidst the chaos and violence of the French and Indian War, Shay Patrick Cormac, a fearless young member of the Brotherhood of Assassins, undergoes a dark transformation that will forever shape the future of the American colonies. After a dangerous mission gone tragically wrong, Shay turns his back on the Assassins who, in response, attempt to end his life. Cast aside by those he once called brothers, Shay sets out on a mission to wipe out all who turned against him and ultimately become the most feared Assassin hunter in history.” ~ Assassin’s Creed website
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