Zappos Offers Black Friday 2011 Deals Today

Most retail outlets turn to a tried-and-true formula on Black Friday and Cyber Monday: Slash prices and hope that the fleeting discounts lure customers to open their wallets.

But this year, some retailers are experimenting with less conventional ways of promoting their brand over the holiday weekend. Best Buy has already said it will screen the latest installment of the Harry Potter movie series at 9 p.m. Thursday at more than 100 stores across the country.

But Zappos, the online retailer of shoes and other apparel, has announced an especially unusual move for the long holiday weekend in an effort they say is geared at keeping weary holiday travelers happy. On the evening before Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel days of the year, the company will be picking up the tab for tolls for some drivers on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

From 5 to 7 p.m., at Exits 18, 19 and 20, tolls will be free for all drivers. Those with Fast Lane transponders will get a credit for the toll on a future statement, and those who stop at the tollbooth to get a ticket will also get what the company called an “unexpected surprise.”