Sunday, November 17, 2013

Leaked Black Friday 2013 Ads Please the Stores Know What They Are Doing

The hype around Black Friday 2013 is already churning right along, and if you are a deal hunter, have a good time.  I prefer to shop online—less crowds, easy parking, etc,etc.  However, I am wondering who the retail giants are fooling when super-secret door buster advertisements get “leaked” online.

When it comes to event shopping, Black Friday has a life of its own.  For many it is an annual trip the morning after Thanksgiving (more often than not it is Thanksgiving night now), and retailers need any bit of extra advertising they can get.  The competition is fast and furious.

The other side of that coin is also pretty obvious.  These days the employees at your local Target, Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and just about every other retailer in the world have the ability to photograph those print ads and post them online.  Better yet, they can take photos of those ads with their smart phones and maybe even make a few extra bucks by selling them to websites that specialize in leaking door buster ads.

While previews are embraced by retailers, the actual leaks should prove to be a learning experience.  Retailers have instant feedback about what discounts shoppers like and which ones they do not.  Consequently, it also offers a chance to see what the competition is doing.  Basically, the playing field is level for a few hours anyway.

I also wonder with the “low price guarantee” that many stores offer, if a well-armed shopper with every ad imaginable could not get everything at one store and simply get the price that other retailers are offering.  Anyway, I digress.

“Leaked” ads are valuable for major retailers.  They help build excitement and generate leads—for free.  So don’t tell me that corporate entities get upset when a secret ad generates millions of hits online, because it is just a sign that Black Friday 2013 is going to be busy rather than a bust.

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