ebay to Debut Advertising Campaign This Week – Finally !!!

eBay today unveiled their new advertising campaign “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay.”

I have long been a critic of eBay going dark on advertising.  eBay has over $1 Billion in cash, yet has not spent a dime on popular media advertising (radio, TV, cable, etc.) for several years.  So its about time eBay –and guess what. I have to give them good marks for this.  I looked at the campaign and its really clever.  It doesn’t do much for the small sellers as it really positions eBay as having the top brands and favors fixed price sellers. But it should bring more traffic to the platform which benefits all of us.

The  campaign is directed at today’s “on-demand shopper,” who prefers to shop anywhere, anytime with a mobile device. The campaign aims to prime the market for what will be eBay’s largest mobile shopping season ever as the company continues to innovate and enable consumers to shop how they want, when they want.

You can view samples of the ads at www.ebayinc.com/campaign.

“eBay’s target customers are shopping enthusiasts – people who are passionate about shopping, whenever and wherever the moment of inspiration strikes,” said Richelle Parham, chief marketing officer, eBay North America. “Shopping enthusiasts are heavy online users with a particular affinity for mobile shopping, and this campaign extends eBay’s powerful brand to reach them at the moment they want to shop.”

The campaign was created by independent San Francisco ad agency Venables Bell & Partners. The spots target shoppers  in categories such as fashion, motors and electronics where eBay shoppers can find  top brands, retailers and products they want, at prices they want.

More and more shoppers today are using mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones to shop. According to Comscore, sixty percent of fashion enthusiasts and 65 percent of electronics enthusiasts own smartphones, compared to less than 30 percent of the general public.  eBay research has shown that these shoppers appreciate the excitement of the eBay marketplace and like to shop on eBay at the moment inspiration strikes.

Using the simple call to action, the “But it new. Buy it now,” campaign reinforces the shopping experience on eBay today. According to eBay, Sixty-two percent of the more than 200 million live listings at any given time are fixed price and 70 percent are new products. eBay expects mobile sales to exceed $4 billion by the end of 2011, and eBay’s suite of mobile applications have been downloaded nearly 50 million times, with one purchase made every second through mobile, showing a strong demand for shopping on the go. In fact, a pair of shoes is sold on eBay every nine seconds and 2,000 cars are sold every week on eBay’s core iPhone apps.

The spots consist of six, 30-second TV commercials, that will kick off tonight (September 14th) on national cable network shows including Top Gear, SportsCenter, Tosh.0, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Top Chef and The Rachel Zoe Project. The spots highlight that no matter where shoppers are and what they want to buy, eBay has it in stock.

To illustrate the ease of use and instant gratification eBay provides through its mobile apps, street-level outdoor executions of the ad campaign will use custom Quick Response (QR) codes that can be accessed using eBay’s RedLaser mobile scanning technology. This will allow consumers to shop for products on the spot, whether in a train station or outside a pedestrian shopping area; the various QR codes will lead to custom eBay landing pages featuring great shopping finds for all shopping enthusiasts.

The campaign is fully integrated, blending new and traditional channels including TV, outdoor display and social media. Outdoor displays ads will be seen in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles starting October 17.

Online ads will consist of takeovers on YouTube and Yahoo! and banner placements on Mashable, eHow, The New York Times, SF Gate, InStyle and Pandora.

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