Using the robbery metaphor for running Black Friday sales is commonplace in Russia. In connection to it, all kinds of variations are used such as 'join the heist', 'get your haul, 'this is a hold-up', etc. In the Russian language, if taken alone, they imply a negative criminal experience, but when used in a figurative meaning, sound enticing and fun.

Will this metaphor work for the English-speaking audience?

Please review this concrete example:

The Black Friday Heist is On! Join the robbery of [company name] and get away with discounts

The offer expires in: days, hours, minutes, seconds

The supporting image: blackfriday

What are the usual metaphors for Black Friday deals in the US and other English-speaking countries?

  • Welcome to English Language and Usage. I edited out the link in Russian and some part of the example. Please review the edit.
    – user140086
    Nov 21, 2016 at 16:41
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    Copywriting is expensive. Use one.
    – Lambie
    Nov 21, 2016 at 16:47
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    English has the expression "It's a steal" for a bargain.
    – deadrat
    Nov 21, 2016 at 17:10
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    What is a 'Black Friday Campaign'? I've never heard of this. In the US, the day after Thanksgiving is called 'Black Friday' because of the all the xmas shopping and sales really goes wild that day. A heist or robbery, which is stealing, sound very negative when connected with these. I recommend not using those in this context.
    – Mitch
    Nov 21, 2016 at 17:10
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    I suspect most people seeing "Heist" in juxtaposition with "Black Friday" would first expect a metaphor for the stores robbing the general public.
    – user66219
    Nov 21, 2016 at 17:10

2 Answers 2


I wouldn't recommend using most of your suggestions; they do carry negative connotations in English.

You can get away with describing the objects that you are selling as 'loot', 'booty', a 'haul', and so forth. However, I would be careful describing the act of shopping or purchasing as stealing, theft, or robbery. That can seem accusatory or even insulting. It could be managed with a very good copy-writer, but if you are at all uncomfortable with English you should avoid it.

"Get Your Haul" would be ok. "The Heist is on" would not be. For a Black Friday campaign, it is probably better to focus on the product and the value, rather than the customer's actions/behavior/motive.


In the examples you have given, no. However, something more subtle such as, "these prices are a steal," Or, "This sale is nearly a robbery," would work fine. The expression is foreign to the English language but is an excellent one. So more particular and subtle phrasing would make you look like a pioneer of expressions!

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