25th - 26th SEPTEMBER 2019  |  OLYMPIA

Record Black Friday digital sales and Starbucks has ‘coffee with a cop’: Monday Wake-Up Call

Ad Age 02 Dec 2019 11:04

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Black Friday digital sales ‘set record’
As the U.S. emerges from a Thanksgiving food coma, sales figures from Black Friday are also emerging—and online shopping is looking particularly healthy. Forbes reports that Black Friday was “a record-setting day for U.S.-based digital retail,” quoting figures from Salesforce of “$7.2 billion in digital sales in the U.S. alone." That's a whacking 14 percent increase on last year. 

Mobile was the big winner this year: according to Salesforce, 65 percent of all digital orders on Black Friday were made on a mobile device. And the two “most talked about” retailers on social were Amazon and Walmart. 

The online retail fest isn’t over yet: today is “Cyber Monday,” and the Financial Times reports that it is “shaping up to be the biggest day ever for U.S. e-commerce sales”—although it notes that “fewer shoppers visited brick-and-mortar stores on Black Friday,” according to data from two analytics companies, ShopperTrak and RetailNext.

Starbucks has ‘coffee with a cop’
Starbucks has had to apologize yet again about how it treats some of its customers, after a story about the experience of a police officer over Thanksgiving went viral on social media. As the New York Times explains, the latest incident took place in Kiefer, Oklahoma when: 

“ a police officer working on Thanksgiving made a Starbucks run for emergency dispatchers to thank them for working during the holiday. When he got his order, he said, he saw the word “PIG” printed on a cup’s label.”

The officer told his police chief, who posted on Facebook about the incident and the barista was subsequently fired. Starbucks and the local police department announced in a joint statement on Friday that they would hold a “coffee with a cop” event to “promote greater civility and understanding.” It’s the latest in a series of embarrassments for the coffee chain: in July, it came under fire after it asked several police officers to leave an outlet in Arizona. And in 2018 it closed all its U.S. stores for anti-bias training after two black customers were arrested for using a restroom.

‘Frozen 2’ wins the holiday box office
Looks like the reviews never bothered it anyway. “Frozen 2” might have had a mixed reception from critics, but the Disney sequel set a box office record for the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, reports the Wall Street Journal, grossing $123.7 million in the U.S. and Canada during the five-day period, according to preliminary studio estimates. That easily outstrips the previous $110 million Thanksgiving record set by “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” in 2013.

Altogether since it opened, the tale of what Elsa and Anna did next has made $287.6 million in the domestic market, plus $451 million overseas. That’s a big hit for Disney—and the WSJ also notes that it’s likely to become “Disney’s sixth movie to gross more than $1 billion globally this year.”

Just briefly:
Out before kick-off: David Pemsel, the outgoing CEO of the Guardian Media Group, has resigned from his upcoming role as CEO of the English Premier League, a position he was due to take up in 2020, after The Sun newspaper published allegations about his private life. Press Gazette writes that Pemsel has also been replaced at Guardian Media Group, which has appointed Anna Bateson as interim chief executive. Prior to The Guardian, Pemsel’s roles included group marketing director at ITV and managing partner at London ad agency St. Luke’s.

Holiday ‘reveals,’ revealed: The U.K. “Christmas Bowl” is in full swing, and nowadays the holiday ads are so big that companies hold “reveal events” just to launch them. Read Ad Age’s U.K. insider account of this year’s attempts to keep up with the John Lewis juggernaut here

Removed: Amazon has had to remove “holiday ornaments, a bottle opener and other products displaying images of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz, after the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum in Poland shared images of the products on social media,” reports the New York Times.

Podcast of the week: Todd Kaplan, marketing VP of Pepsi, does a decent impression of Cardi B on Ad Age’s Marketer’s Brief Podcast this week. Kaplan tells Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz about the brand’s use of the artist in a campaign that daringly asks “Is Pepsi OK?,” as well as its “culture in, brand out” marketing strategy and its Super Bowl halftime sponsorship. Plus, find out why one of Pepsi's forthcoming products is “kind of like a Guinness.”

Campaign of the holiday weekend: Comcast reunited E.T. and Elliott in a spot that, according to Variety, has the blessing and support of Spielberg himself. In the ad by Goodby Silverstein & Partners, E.T. returns to see his friend, once again played by Henry Thomas, the same actor who portrayed him in the original movie. Elliott is now a dad and in the ad his young family gives E.T. an update on some new earth tech, including the internet and virtual reality. The spot debuted during the NBC broadcast of the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade. Watch it here (and if you're a fan of the movie, you might get a little emotional.) Plus don’t forget to check out Creativity’s Top 5 campaigns from last week, including Globe Telecom’s Star Wars-themed tearjerker from the Philippines.  

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