Traditionally, Black Friday is synonymous with brands offering discounts and urging customers to shop. This year, Patagonia took a non-traditional approach with its “Worn Wear” campaign, urging would-be shoppers to stay home and celebrate what they already own. Patagonia kicked off the campaign with a tweet “Instead of shopping this #BlackFriday, come celebrate the stuff you already own.” It hosted “Worn Wear” parties on Black Friday in 15 cities where it screened its short film “Worn Wear: A Film About the Stories We Wear”, an in-depth look at six well-worn Patagonia items and their owners. The brand partnered with iFixit to give lessons on repairing a variety of outdoor gear. Broadcast online after the event, the film received more than 200,000 views and drove traffic to the brand’s YouTube channel, which grew from 85,471 views in July to 366,178 in November.

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Patagonia has a well-publicized environmentally friendly ethos. It has asked customers to buy used and repair outdoor gear whenever possible, even of the Patagonia brand. It uses only organic cotton and manufactures its fleece from recycled bottles. Many altruistic efforts of brands are met with skepticism because they ask the consumer to buy or become a brand evangelist for a good cause. Patagonia does the opposite, and ironically it has resulted in more sales. Perhaps, the authenticity also led to the success of the Worn Wear campaign, featured as a Flash of Genius in our Digital IQ Index: Sportswear report.

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