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More than a few tweets, memes and pins have compared Black Friday to the Hunger Games, which is both funny and a little frightening, but let's dig in a bit deeper. Since we previously analyzed media coverage of Prime Day—Amazon’s mid-summer version of Black Friday—we thought it would be interesting to see what insights could be discovered with media content analysis of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and, in the spirit of the holiday season, Giving Tuesday.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday certainly came out on top in terms of media coverage, which is not surprising since they’ve been around longer. Black Friday has been around since at least the 1950s. A CBS News report attributed the first use of Black Friday to Philadelphia police officers who came up with the name after dealing with the traffic jams and crowds that are now so familiar on the day after Thanksgiving. In 1966, the first retail store—also in Philly—co-opted the name Black Friday to promote its holiday sales. Cyber Monday began a decade ago and has enjoyed increasing popularity as digital continues to flourish.
Some notable insights came from our analysis of companies mentioned in relation to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. As you can see from the chart below, Amazon and Walmart overwhelmed other retail competitors in terms of media coverage for both shopping holidays. Yet, one brand that is linked inextricably with Thanksgiving—Macy’s— had very little media presence on Cyber Monday and very little for Black Friday compared to the front-runners.
Newer events like Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday enjoyed steady coverage in the run-up to the big post-Thanksgiving shopping weekend. While volume was lower than Black Friday or Cyber Monday, the results are still impressive.
That’s good news for these “upstarts” because they are generating a consistent and growing presence—not an easy task against such well-established players. In fact, a recent Forbes post on Small Business Saturday quoted National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) CEO and President Dan Danner who said, “Small Business Saturday has grown every year and it’s been a big boost to Main Street America.” How big?
Also significant was the positive sentiment garnered by these two days:
Both days achieved greater than 40 percent positive sentiment and minimal negative sentiment, while Black Friday and Cyber Monday had slightly higher negative sentiment numbers.
What competitive intelligence is waiting to be discovered in the media today?