This week we are looking at the consumerism backlash that’s been growing over Black Friday, the return of QR codes (remember them?) and the £50 Christmas film everyone thinks is better than Elton John.
How was Black Friday for you?
Some of our clients had a great increase in sales over the weekend, which we are really pleased about – but we’ve also been very intrigued by the growing movement against Black Friday. International Buy Nothing Day has been running since 1992 and is growing every year, but there has also been an interesting backlash from brands this year too. Global WAKEcup renamed the day Green Friday and donated 50% of their profits to the Marine Conservation Society. Trendy trainer brand Veja went with “It’s just Friday” and a post detailing how their approach to Black Friday has changed. Conscious shopping site Worthwhyle renamed the day to Give Back Friday, increasing their prices by 10% to highlight Black Friday consumerism, and donated the extra cash to a wildlife rescue charity. Outdoor sports brand dryrobe posted on their LinkedIn to say that the idea of Black Friday doesn’t fit with what they’re about, so while the website was still open as usual there was no Black Friday sale and they had given their staff a paid day off for the third year in a row. (ahem, Ryan!)
The return of the QR code?
Remember when QR codes were a thing? No? Well, that might be because they never really seemed to take off. They were these weird, square, black and white things which you could scan with your phone and they would take you to a website or landing page. The idea behind a QR code was genius – that you could just scan the code and be taken to any website, form, page or whatever else. The problem was that in order to scan a QR code, you needed an app – and most people just couldn’t be bothered, so it seemed.
QR codes have been making something of a comeback lately though. What began with the introduction of Snap Codes on Snapchat in 2014 has now spread to Messenger Codes, Spotify Codes, Instagram Codes and more. But what really makes us think QR codes are making a comeback is that they’ve been spotted as an option in Google Search. In the Chrome app on some smartphones, there is the option to scan a QR code. In fact, in Japan (where they were first invented back in 1994) and China, QR codes are massive. People use them to connect to public wifi, to add friends to social media site WeChat, even to pay in shops. We say: watch this space. QR codes are coming back!
The end of the multi-million-pound Christmas ad?
Last week we brought you our favourite Christmas ads and spoof ads – but something new has caught our collective eye this week. A filmmaker named Phil Beastall made a short film called Love is a Gift which has taken the internet by storm. With a budget of just £50, many are saying he has blown the £7 million John Lewis ad out of the water. There have been numerous calls from the public for John Lewis to hire Beastall to produce next year’s ad. Not seen the video yet? We’ll warn you: you’ll need a hankie or two!