Black Friday 2021: Who Won the Battle of the Beauty Brands?

by: Steph Lamerton
Well, that’s it. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over for another year, and the countdown to Christmas has officially begun.

While the official expenditure figures are yet to be released, by all measures, it seems consumers were splashing the cash this November.

According to bank and card issuer data gathered by The Guardian, consumers were predicted to spend almost £9.2bn during Black Friday weekend. This is more than one-fifth greater than last year as the high street reopens following lockdown. However, experts didn’t expect sales to go far beyond 2019 levels due to supply issues.

Plus, Nationwide said its customers had made 5.95m purchases by 5pm, 26% up on last year and 24% up on 2019.

So, where were people spending their money and which beauty campaigns caught our eye? Find out below.

The Best Black Friday Marketing Campaigns in the Beauty Sector

Feel Unique: Getting in There Early

If a Black Friday sale starts the first week of November, can you really call it a ‘Black Friday’ sale? Well, with more and more brands opening their offers earlier than ever, Feel Unique decided to put a spin on the sale season with its Black Friday Preview.

The beauty giant offered up to 33% off certain items, the chance to win prizes and free gifts, as well as big discounts off major brand names. A simple yet effective way of drumming up excitement to the main event and to get customers returning to its site.

Source: Feelunique Instagram

Plus, with the launch of Tiger King 2 on November 17th, the meme used on the brand’s social media couldn’t be more current.

Of course, the brand didn’t stop there. The beauty marketplace followed up with some creative social infographics which taught shoppers how to shop Black Friday the best. Top tips included setting Google Alerts, joining loyalty rewards schemes, and creating a wish list to be more efficient.

Source: Feelunique Instagram

No7: Bundling Up This Winter

No7 is the UK’s number one skincare brand and, with its position in the middle to top of the industry price range, its products are a firm favourite Christmas gift. This year, No7 monopolised on this with the creation of its Black Friday Beauty Collection Bundle where purchasers were advertised £116 worth of products for just £35.

Not only was this a great idea for those starting their Christmas shopping early, but the promise of big savings and the sense of urgency that was created got many customers clambering for this limited-edition bundle before it sold out.

MAC Cosmetics: For a Limited Time Only

Talking of creating a sense of urgency, on November 26th MAC Cosmetics announced it was launching a 25% off flash sale for Black Friday which would end at midnight on 28th November ahead of Cyber Monday. Shoppers would also receive a free complimentary gift worth over £40 when they spent £55 or more on an order, including limited edition items.

Source: M.A.C. Cosmetics UK & Ireland Instagram

Black Friday Sales Aren’t for Everyone Though

For some, Black Friday can be a huge money-maker and great for brand awareness; for others, this simply isn’t a marketing tactic which is profitable or aligns with their brands’ ethics.

Online fashion brands Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo received considerable criticism for offering clothes for almost free with offers up to 99% off some items. Many small stores also decided to boycott the day, running alternative or greener events.

Big names like Marks and Spencer and Next ignored the event altogether, whereas beauty brand The Ordinary took things one step further by pausing its website as well as in-store transactions. The goal being to encourage people to focus on human connections instead of shopping. All Deciem and The Ordinary stores were instead opened and invited consumers to attend in-store experiences such as live music, poetry readings, flower arranging, painting classes and more.

Source: Deciem Instagram

Which Were Your Faves?

What do you think were the best Black Friday campaigns of 2021? And which will you be taking inspiration from? We’d love to hear your pics. Tag us @FoundationAGNCY on Twitter or @foundationagncy on Insta, and if you’d like help with your content marketing ahead of Black Friday 2022, we’re here to help!

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