How ‘won’ Black Friday

Online retailer has no high street presence but wanted to tap into the £600m opportunity around physical stores on Black Friday and so it turned to outdoor to serve up dynamic ads that mixed the best of high street and online retail.

Very Black Friday

For, Black Friday is the biggest retail opportunity of the year. Worth more than £2bn to the UK retail industry, it is when 30% of Christmas shoppers buy at least one present and accounts for 18% of the year’s total ecommerce sales, according to the company.

Yet that opportunity also provides challenges. Brands looking to advertise around the event face stiff competition online as the price of search terms rocket, Facebook feeds become cluttered with promotions and email inboxes fill up with offers.

In 2017, identified an opportunity to tap into the £600m in sales that would take place not online but on the high street around Black Friday. However, without any stores it needed to find another way to create a presence on shopping streets across the UK.

To do that, and its agencies Posterscope, Vizeum, Liveposter and St Luke’s wanted to use outdoor ads as digital shop fronts. The ads were powered by real-time data on audience, sales, search and location so they updated throughout the day based on competitor pricing, stock levels and trading deals.

The campaign “smashed” objectives, according to the company, delivering high ROI and showing how data-driven campaigns can help drive sales. That success also saw it win the Data-Driven Marketing category at Marketing Week’s Masters Awards in 2018.

READ MORE: Marketing Week Masters Awards 2018 – The channel winners

The campaign helped’s revenue rise 16.8% year on year for the seven weeks up to and including 22 December. That was above the 7% growth seen in the UK non-food online retail market, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Items popular around Black Friday had especially strong growth. The electrical category saw sales rise 16% on the previous year, with a 45% growth in gaming and 37% in smart tech.

And Very’s performance helped its owner, Shop Direct, to a “record-breaking” Christmas.

Alex Baldock, who was then group CEO at Shop Direct, said: “This was another record-breaking Christmas for Shop Direct, on the heels of 9% growth last year and 6% in 2015. Once again, Very was the star of the show, with sales outpacing the UK online retail market.”

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here