Home improvement retailer Lowe's took to Facebook Live this past weekend to promote 11 different Black Friday deals during a 20-minute video segment called "Mystery Box Bonanza."
Lowe's first teased the livestream event on Nov. 2 through an initial Facebook Live post that drew 2,700 real-time viewers, and has since drawn 1.4 million views to its recorded version. The retailer also used 360-degree video clips earlier this year in Facebook posts intended to teach viewers home improvement skills.
Both Saturday's live event and the initial promotion were hosted by Drew and Jonathan Scott of the HGTV show "Property Brothers." In the livestream event, they gradually revealed the different Black Friday deals, in between performing comedy bits and pranks, and interacting with viewers through Facebook Live features.
Lowe's is by no means the first retailer to invest in Facebook Live promotions. Earlier this year, Birchbox talked to Retail Dive about its use of Facebook Live and live video in general to engage directly with customers. Birchbox also liked the value of having a video recorded to Facebook that it could continue to promote well after the live event itself was over.
As a Black Friday-specific video, it's hard to imagine that the Lowe's event has the same sort of shelf life to be revisited and promoted in an ongoing fashion, but it still gives the retailer a firm stake in the format, and a reputation among customers that it is willing to engage that way through social media.
Lowe's has been fairly aggressive the past couple of years experimenting with new video-related technologies in marketing capacities. Back in 2015, the retailer leveraged Vine videos in advertising the opening of a new high-tech store in New York City. It also used HoloLens augmented reality technology from Microsoft to enable customers to design new rooms in a virtual format
Lowe's officials note in reports of this weekend's Facebook Live event that the retailer's home improvement emphasis means that it doesn't necessarily have a market focus and products that would seem to fit for Black Friday deals and holiday gift-giving. But that may make its use of Facebook Live as a promotional tool even more appropriate, as sort of an out-of-left-field pitch from a retailer no one would expect to go big with Black Friday advertising, in a format that many retailers are not yet using for big advertising splashes. For those reasons, it could garner more notice than anyone suspects. (We're talking about it, so Lowe's is doing something right.)
This story is part of our ongoing coverage of the 2016 holiday shopping season. You can browse our holiday page for more stories.