Wal-Mart Black Friday sales for 2009: The story behind the leak
With the release of Wal-Mart's Black Friday Sales for 2009 ad, the retail giant attempts to walk a fine line between using and being hurt by the Internet.
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Further, the many sites pursuing and posting the latest Black Friday deals don't want to spoil relations with their golden goose, an issue not faced by CNN. BFAds makes a small commission from Wal-Mart for each shopper that passes through its portal en route to a purchase on Wal-Mart's website.
What could be seen as a corporate giant bowing to the pressure of the savvy Web sleuths might, in fact, be an integral part of Wal-Mart’s marketing strategy. In terms of timing, Vincent says it may have been almost perfectly placed.
“We’re only about a week away from Black Friday so it's not too far away. People are going to be taking the next week off probably so now is kind of a good time to reach them before they check out,” Vincent says.
Noting that his site’s Black Friday post was Alexa.com’s 7th most popular on the Internet Wednesday afternoon, Wal-Mart’s release certainly generated interest.
“Tons of people are visiting our site and they’re getting tons of exposure,” he says.
By working diligently to keep their ad off the Internet before the right moment, Wal-Mart may have safeguarded its best Black Friday secret: Its deals really might be the best.
“Their ad this year is great. I think it beats all the other Black Friday ads,” Vincent says. “They want all the other ads to leak out and then their ad goes out and they one-up everybody.”
By battling when they need to and then carefully allowing their promotions to slip, Wal-Mart walks a fine line in the holiday market: whetting consumers appetites without sacrificing too much commercial edge.
“They basically want the best of both worlds,” Brim says.
And for now, they’re getting it.