EBay highlights its uniqueness in the retail sector

CHALLENGE: After the summer shopping lull, people traditionally return to many e-commerce sites, but not to eBay. We were briefed to increase consideration, transactions and emotional connection among light and lapsed customers to build Christmas 2007 sales.

Client: eBay
Agency: PHD
Planner: Hugh Griffiths
Campaign: Live Ads

The big idea behind the campaign was to highlight eBay's uniqueness in the retail sector - its live nature. EBay is ever-changing in terms of products and individual prices and is reliant on individuals for its inventory. It was imperative that these elements were communicated to remind people of the reasons they used eBay in the first place. The campaign's underlying principles were to behave disruptively, dramatise the live marketplace, involve people and produce ground-breaking live ads.

We identified three key lapsed buyer sectors - men's fashion, women's fashion and entertainment. From a TV buying perspective, September 2007 was perfect due to the wide range of programming opportunities available. We targeted ITV1 audiences relevant to women's fashion (Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway), men's fashion (Rugby World Cup) and entertainment (The X Factor) with the TV ads. To truly showcase the live nature of eBay, we sourced accurate, up-to-date pricing information, which was fed directly from the eBay website. This data was aired during ads on ITV1 with only a two-second delay, a first in the broadcaster's history. The auction items shown were relevant to spots - including a Welsh rugby shirt during a Wales v Australia rugby international match and CDs in The X Factor break. We bought consecutive breaks to emphasise the live aspect, so prices increased progressively during a programme's ad breaks.

The campaign increased eBay's year-on-year revenue by 16%, and 74% of people agreed the communications reminded them of the eBay website. One online eBay seller noticed a jump from five "watchers" to 200 when his Converse trainers appeared in the Champions League break.

Hugh Griffiths, media director, PHD

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