How to win Black Friday attention

As we’re heading towards the famous Black Friday, as well as Cyber Monday, we also see the intensity for getting customer attention is growing. After all, how can you succeed in being heard when everybody else are shouting? It all depends on what you want to achieve. Here, we analyze some Black Friday offers to see what works best.

2020 is a special year in every respect. The global pandemic has shifted buying patterns like an enormous online-only wave. More than ever, companies need to ensure online attention and engagement. So how to succeed?

Black Friday customers are looking for great offers, but also for the right brand and product. At the same time, Black Friday is focused on a limited time (Friday only) and often limited stock, which leads to a well-known scarcity effect in customers. So what should your attention go to?

Let’s focus on a crucial distinction for attention:

  • Brand attention — if your store brand or product brand is strong, attention to the brand should be one of the earliest things visitors see. When they see your brand, their positive emotional response will produce a halo effect over to the product, and price sensitivity will go down. They will be more likely to purchase your product.
  • Product attention — if your product has an enormous appeal in itself, the focus should be on this as the main driver for attention. For example, if your product is scarce (e.g., the latest PlayStation 5) or has an insane visual appeal, if you guide your customers to the product first they will be more likely to choose it.
  • Price/Offer attention — Black Friday is all about great offers, so if you believe that your offer is key, the focus should be on this. A great product offer gives the viewer the impression that this is a highly unique offer, they are more likely to act on that option right away!

By contrast, you don’t want too much attention on less relevant purchase incentives, such as long text explanations for the product, or vague descriptions around Black Friday.

To better exemplify this, we ran several Black Friday online and print offers to see which page works best for which purpose. In other words, which outlet seems to be best suited if you focus on the brand, the product, or the price/offer?

Let’s first see the materials:

The Black Friday analysis approach

For each of these materials, we analyzed the data with the NeuroVision #attentionAI algorithm. We then used the Areas Of Interest (AOIs) tool to extract attention for the brand, product, text, offer, and price.

The heat maps for each image can be seen below:

General results

We first looked at the way in which attention scores were distributed. Here, we found that attention overall to the critical AOI elements was pretty low. This suggests that companies struggle to create attention to what should be considered important elements for Black Friday sales materials:

Distribution of attention to the sales materials. These data suggest that overall attention is pretty low.

We then looked at how different brands fared for attention to their materials, averaging the scores for the different AOIs. Here, we could see that there was a clear difference in which brands performed high and low on attention. For example, across all AOIs, GameStop produced the lowest attention, while the highest score was achieved by Kohls

The distribution of attention for each brand. This shows that attention to the critical AOIs are best for Kohls and worst for GameStop.

Black Friday AOI results

We then looked at how different AOIs were successful or not in obtaining attention. First, we looked across all materials to see which AOIs would get most and least attention.

The results were staggering! Price got by far the least attention, while text got the most attention!

Attention to Black Friday materials per AOI, showing that Text got most attention, and price the least.

What is going on here?

After all, did we not mention in the beginning that the point of Black Friday materials is to produce more attention to the offer, the brand and the product, and less on text?

If anything, this shows that across multiple industries, there needs to be a strong turnaround in visual design of these materials.

Next, we looked at how brands fared on different AOIs. Were some brands better at producing attention to different AOIs?

Brands’ attention performance for each AOI suggests some clear winners and losers.

As these results show, there were indeed many differences:

  • Brand attention is generally low, but the top scorers are Kohls, Belk, PetCo, and Walmart
  • Offer attention is very low across the board, and the winners include Microsoft, Macy’s, Kohls, and Academy
  • Price attention is even lower overall, and with no clear winners (they all lose this one)
  • Product attention is best for HP, Macy’s, and Walmart
  • Text attention is highest for TechStore, Kohls, Academy, and Belk, but this is not necessarily a good thing


If anything, this NeuroVision analysis shows that there’s work to do for Black Friday sales materials! If the point of Black Friday marketing is to get people to go for your offers, the simple truth is: focus on your main offerings, and sacrifice your desire to explain your product. In the busy times up to this day, attention is a scarcity and a luxury. Make sure that your brand, product, price, or offering is seen, depending on what you know works best for your customers.

If you made it here, don’t miss out on our Cyber Monday offering — 50% off on your purchase. Go to your account, and use the code “CyberMonday50” during checkout to get the discount!

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