UK gets in on Black Friday

Despite not celebrating Thanksgiving, many stores are extending their Black Friday savings to the United Kingdom. Currently, the savings are mostly online, although some department stores are offering in-store discounts the weekend after Turkey Day. Due to the discounts, online spending is projected to increase by 20 percent between now and Christmas. That’s just over 25 days.

One tradition the UK has that we do not is Super Saturday, which refers to the chaotic last-minute shopping that falls on the Saturday right before Christmas. This is not about getting good deals, but rather getting the product you want before it is too late.

Black Friday is not the first holiday to spread to the UK. Halloween and Valentine’s Day have grown significantly in the United Kingdom due to their market success in the US. Will Thanksgiving be the next one to transfer over?

Read the full Ad Age article here: http://adage.com/article/global-news/black-friday-u-k-lack-thanksgiving-day/245440/

Instagram ads: Helpful or irrelevant?

Instagram ads are a relatively new thing, and what was first an ad here and there has turned into a daily occurrence. Several brands, including GE and Ben & Jerry’s have run ads on the platform. As of right now, the only demographics used to target consumers is age and gender. However, I am confident that as Instagram advertising develops and matures, the ads will become more personalized based on consumer data.

The question right now is “What is the value of these ads?”

Some of the ads have been successful in getting thousands of likes. Michael Kors gained about 34,000 new follows within 24 hours after their first ad was published. Based on these statistics, the ads are a success. But that alone is not enough to start celebrating. Instagram has begun surveying consumers who have seen the ads, as well as a control group of those who have not, to test for ad retention and brand awareness.

I believe Instagram advertising is powerful and represents a huge opportunity to cut through the clutter. It will be interesting to see how it develops and either fails or succeeds.

Read the full Ad Age article here: http://adage.com/article/digital/instagram-publishing-a-ad-day/245427/