Apple Sway holiday ad

This week we learned: How Advertising created Thanksgiving traditions and Americans shop Black Friday deals from their phones

Welcome back to another edition of Outcrop's weekly advertising and social media update. In case you hadn't noticed, our neighbours to the south are celebrating their Thanksgiving holiday, which makes today Black Friday. Can you remember a time when you didn't know what Black Friday was? Those were the days! Have you noticed Black Friday creeping across the border? We Canadians toil away at work while American counterparts watch football in a food coma or get up before dawn for door-crasher deals, but we also seem to be inundated with sales. And it won't stop until well into January so we might as well lean in and look at who's doing a great job.  

You may have seen this Thanksgiving greeting from the Stranger Things cast come across your Facebook newsfeed yesterday, and even though we Canadians aren't celebrating with turkey and stuffing, we're pretty used to our favourite shows marking the occasion. But wait -- did they just? Oh this is for us! 

Long form census! Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod! OK, well done Netflix for your A+ geotargeting and really knowing your nerdy, nostalgia-loving audience.

Think your ad doesn't matter? Check out this interesting read on "How Advertising Shaped Thanksgiving."  For instance, cranberry brands Eatmor and Ocean Spray helped cement cranberries' association with the holiday, just because they were in competition with each other. And while early Thanksgiving meals may have included duck or goose instead of a turkey, the prominence of turkey in ads marketing meat thermometers, roasting pans and the like helped make turkey THE meat of the holiday. 

Oh man! Black Friday isn't even halfway through as of this writing and and Business Reporter reports that Americans have already spent $1.5 billion online. Not to worry though, it's not like they're leaving their families and dinner tables to score the best savings on kitchen appliances and virtual home assistants, they're doing all this shopping from their phones! Can't wait for next year's report: "Alexa, how many people just asked you to do their shopping?" 

There are however some retailers that do want you to get off your phones and get outside. Outdoor gear and clothing store REI (MEC's U.S. counterpart) kept its doors closed for the third Black Friday in a row, despite this being such a huge day for retailers. Their #OptOutside campaign is now a Black Friday tradition -- allowing employees to spend some time enjoying the outdoors with their loved ones instead of opening a store at 6am. But, you know, take this with a grain of salt -- it's still a (smart, on-brand) marketing campaign getting you to buy outdoorsy stuff. Now that you mention it I could use a light vest as a layering piece for skiing...

And, ending on a sappy note, with American Thanksgiving out of the way, the Christmas holiday season is in full effect, along with all the holiday ads. Here's Apple's holiday spot, and while I still wonder how those ear bugs are supposed to stay in, this video, "Sway," is beautiful. 

If you're wondering at the amazing chemistry of the dancers, AdWeeks notes that they're married and met while auditioning for a dance company. The tagline, "move someone this holiday," is a good one. Yes, they're in the business of selling phones and computers, but look at the moments you can create! 

That's it from us! What are your Black Friday-Cyber Monday strategies, scope out the deals ahead of time, devise a route and plan to get what you and set an alarm? Or curl up at home, ignoring the madness until it all dies down? Or maybe you weren't planning on doing any Black Friday shopping except you happened to see that one deal you just couldn't pass up. Let us know! Reach out to @outcropcom@outcropnunavut and @outcropyukon on Twitter and Outcrop Communications on Facebook.