Partner Webinar: The cookieless marketing future with SVP Tony Vlismas - June 11

MVVA: Black Friday
Dec 02, 2021

Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021: Most Viewed and Inspiring Video Ads

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are known for being big shopping days across North America. And despite supply chain issues and rising inflation, consumers have come to expect monster savings. But with so many brands competing for consumer dollars, their promotional efforts have to be on point. The Most Viewed Video Ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2021 demonstrate the different ways that brands and retailers are trying to stand out, from tying Black Friday campaigns to larger initiatives supporting black-owned businesses, to boldly backing away from Black Friday and Cyber Monday altogether. 


Early bird gets the sale

Retailers began promoting Black Friday deals as early as September this year, largely due to ongoing supply chain disruptions. As a result, consumers didn’t have to wait around for their holiday discounts and started shopping early. This was reflected in decreased Cyber Week (Black Friday to Cyber Monday) shopping, with 179.8 million people making online and in-store purchases, down from 186.4 million in 2020, and 189.6 million in 2019, according to the National Retail Federation.


Online consumers spent a total of $10.7B on Cyber Monday, down 1.4% YoY according to Adobe Analytics. However, overall spending in November still exceeded 2020 totals, keeping retailers on track for a record-breaking holiday season. Already, shoppers have increased their online spending over last year, up 11.9% and totalling $109.8 billion (Adobe).


Bye bye, brick and mortar?

Black Friday may still be the biggest shopping holiday in America, but it is possible the global pandemic has permanently changed consumer buying habits. More and more shoppers are choosing to shop online, and are using their smartphones to do it. Shopify saw a 5% increase in the number of shoppers on its platform who used smartphones to make purchases.

Some big box retailers like Walmart and Target even opted to keep their brick and mortar stores closed on Thanksgiving, bucking the tradition of opening stores Thursday evening for early access to Black Friday deals. This further solidifies the move towards ecommerce.

With online shopping becoming more prevalent than ever, let’s look at how advertisers are responding in our list of the Top 10 Most Viewed Video Ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. 


Top 10 Most Viewed Video Ads for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Rank Brand Campaign Release date views
1 Expedia This Black Friday 15-Nov 24,363,300
2 Amazon Wonderland Will 1-Nov 13,018,661
3 Google #BlackOwnedFriday 17-Nov 4,265,337
4 P.C. Richard and Son Buy More, More More 3-Nov 3,536,389
5 Welder We don’t sell on Black Friday 15-Nov 3,196,848
6 Walmart Black Friday Deals for Days 13-Oct 1,840,659 
7 Curacao Every week is Black Friday 5-Nov 1,737,926
8 Denver Mattress Black Friday Super Sale 12-Oct 1,502,312
9 BrandsMart USA Black Friday Starts Now 3-Nov 1,106,246
10 AppSumo $1Million Black Friday Fund 15-Sep 941,748

*Data collected by AcuityAds’ True Reach™ insights platform from September 15 – November 29, 2021 


Stand out ads


Google — #BlackOwnedFriday

The most unique video ad in our top 10 list by far was Google’s #BlackOwnedFriday, which featured T-Pain and Normani in a “shoppable” video which displayed over 100 products from more than 50 black-owned businesses, allowing viewers the opportunity to buy the products as they appeared in the music video. It also announced a way to search for black-owned businesses through Google Maps, and offered resources for other black-owned businesses. It was the only ad in our top 10 list with a social justice dimension to it. 


Welder — We don’t sell on Black Friday

This cheeky ad by Welder attempts to zig while others zag, backing away from Black Friday entirely with a simple yet bold approach that invites consumers to choose their brand carefully, and not rush. This method is similar to Curacao’s Every week is Black Friday ad, which also places less emphasis on the actual holiday in favor of weekly deals for the month of November. 

Expedia This Black Friday

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale

Expedia’s ad is one of the few Black Friday ads to not mention products at all, instead choosing to focus on the feeling of an escape from daily life. Given that “flights” was the second most searched product keyword from October 2020 to September 2021, perhaps it isn’t surprising that Expedia’s ad was first on our list. 


Key takeaways

  • Deals over feels: At their core, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are still promotional holidays, with 6/10 of the video ads in our list mentioning prices in some way. However, given that the top spot went to Expedia’s This Black Friday, it is possible the winds are changing.
  • Shopping evolution: Consumers are still spending, but they’re changing the way that they do it. They are increasingly choosing the ease of smartphones and computers and taking advantage of discounts early, opting to spread their shopping over the course of the month and avoid the mayhem accompanied by one-day sales.


Looking to view more Black Friday ads? Check out our top picks for the Most Viewed Black Friday ads in 2022 and 2023.


Connect with us!

Did your organization have a Black Friday or Cyber Monday campaign? Get in touch to learn how your video campaigns rank against competitors and how you can capture viewer attention with our proprietary True Reach™ technology.

Sign up for our newsletter to get more Acuity insights delivered straight to your inbox!


About True Reach™ insights platform

Increase total views and time spent on your video campaigns without increasing advertising spend. Our proprietary True Reach technology harnesses all publicly available view data to track real-time performance and enable decision-making that optimizes your Share of Attention™.

Learn more.