5 Black Friday PR Plays to Watch 

With the holiday season upon us, millions around the country are looking forward to stuffing their faces with turkey, ham, pies and all the other traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

However, just as many are anticipating getting out of the house, going shopping and taking advantage of the slashed prices many stores will be offering on Thursday night and all day Friday.

With Black Friday’s popularity growing each year, brands are taking full advantage of consumer demand, marketing their offerings in hopes of drawing in deal-seeking customers.

Here are some of the best attention-grabbing PR plays executed by top brands for Black Friday:

Amazon: Just in time for Black Friday, say hello to Amazon Pages, a free option for brands to create their own custom Amazon.com pages. Similar to Facebook, the pages will house brands’ URLs, designs and social media, says TechCrunch. In addition Amazon Posts will allow brands  to update their sites with new messages, and Amazon will let users cross-post those messages to Facebook pages as well.

Apple: While most brands are advertising deals well in advance of Thursday and Friday, Apple is building the suspense and leaving customers on edge by delaying the announcement of deals. In an e-mail to customers, Apple wrote: "This Friday, there's something for everyone. Including you. Prepare your gift list: The one-day Apple shopping event is this Friday, November 23." If the products don’t grab your attention, the tease most certainly will.

JC Penney:  In its “only sale of the year,” JC Penney, struggling over the last few months, will open at 6 a.m. on Friday, two hours later than the 4 a.m. opening last year. CEO Ron Johnson challenged Penney’s merchant teams to put their lowest prices on everything offered for sale on Black Friday. For customer convenience,  employees will be equipped with mobile checkout devices to speed up checkout for credit card purchases. 

Old Navy: Cheermageddon is what Old Navy calls the most epically friendly Black Friday ever. Starting at midnight on Friday, for every purchase of $40 a customer makes, they will receive a free New Super Mario Bros U game for the new Wii U system.

Walmart: In a move that has not come without controversy, Walmart is opening its doors at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving night to get an early start on the consumer rush. While the deals will certainly get the attention of costumers, the potential walk-out of employees protesting the store’s hours leaves Walmart balancing a PR crisis with the most important shopping day of the year.

What deals are you looking forward to? Let us know. Happy Holidays!

Follow Jamar Hudson: @jamarhudson