Remember a time when January was the time for all the big sales? Well, as it turns out, that line of thinking is dead and buried. Black Friday, the powers that be tell me, is where it’s at now. For those not in the know, Black Friday takes place on the last Friday of November and is seen as an opportunity for shops to offer their best ‘one day only’ discounts. In years gone by, this was a mostly American phenomenon. Over on this side of the Atlantic however, it only really became ‘a thing’ of note last year. If you look at Google’s search trend data you can see that Black Friday related searches increased many times over in 2014, with that volume expected to increase substantially once again this year. This sudden increase in interest can be largely attributed to the rapid spread of high speed broadband in this part of the world.
Thankfully, nowadays most people opt to do their Black Friday shopping online, away from the crowded high streets and madness that ensues as people scramble for the best deals like something out of a George A. Romero zombie film. Blood has literally spilled in Black Friday riots – all in the name of snagging a bargain. Don’t believe me? Check out this disturbing video compilation:
While Black Friday was originally supposed to be a ‘one day only’ shopping extravaganza, most stores are stretching it out to a full week which they have given the odd title of ‘Black Friday Week’ (perhaps ‘Black Week’ sounded a bit too open to weird interpretations?). During this week, stores are unleashing new waves of discounted items (I swear to God, I saw an ad promoting 20% off cow lube on the Google Display Network – never you mind what I was searching for that triggered the ads to appear on my browser!) on a daily basis in order to generate as much hype as possible in the run up to the big day. Specific pages with Black Friday countdown timers are all the rage this year – I cannot help but think it is all an elaborate ruse by some evil super villain who intends to unleash some sort of hate plague which will send shoppers into a murderous frenzy, bringing about the end of humanity as we know it, leaving the survivors to duke it out in a Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic dystopia. The sad part is, no one will know what’s going on until it is far too late – assuming it to be simply a case of Black Friday shoppers gone wild.
With Black Friday Week looking set to end at a minute past midnight on November 28th, those of us who survive the madness will have to enter a brave new world and attempt to rebuild a broken society. The era of peace will be short lived however. Like any successful horror movie*, Black Friday has a sequel in the works. On the 30th of November, Cyber Monday will attempt to reinvent the Black Friday Wheel. What makes Cyber Monday different from Black Friday? Well, it’s basically the same except that it focuses even moreso on the internet side of things. While many will no doubt decry the instigation of another ‘super sale’ day (it’s actually ‘Cyber Week’ now –Ed), it is at least bound to be more fun than the last time the horror genre mixed with the internet, the fail-fest that was Unfriended…
*I’m not even joking, there is actually a horror movie called Black Friday.
[Image: Arrow Films]