eBay Launches Ad Targeting Mobile Users
Seeking to change its perception as an auction marketplace, eBay last week launched what is believed to be the first major ad campaign aimed at the mobile consumer.
Dubbed “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay,” the TV commercials close with the tagline, “Buy it New. Buy it now.” to highlight both its mobile apps and its fixed-priced, new offerings. Of its 200 million live listings, 62 percent are fixed-price and 70 percent are new.
The campaign, eBay’s biggest effort in four years, is reportedly a bid to make eBay more hip and relevant while capitalizing on its expertise in the mobile area. The company said its suite of mobile applications have been downloaded nearly 50 million times, and mobile sales on eBay are expected to exceed $4 billion by the end of 2011. According to The Associated Press, mobile apps also attract new users. Between January and July, nearly 500,000 eBay shoppers joined up and made their first purchase via mobile.
“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, in a statement. “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 ads are geared toward three types of mobile-users: the fashionista, the electronics junkie and the auto parts fan. eBay found that 60 percent of fashion enthusiasts and 65 percent of electronics enthusiasts own smartphones versus less than 30 percent of the general public
The ads show mobile users in different situations when shopping inspiration strikes. In one commercial, a man named Pete is mocked by co-workers for being the only person in the board room without a tablet computer. One co-worker drones, “Me Pete, me use pen!” Pete takes out his smartphone and buys a tablet on eBay, although the commercial ends with his pen leaking blue ink all over his shirt pocket.
Commercials kicked off last Wednesday on shows including Top Gear, SportsCenter, Tosh.0, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Top Chef and The Rachel Zoe Project. Street-level outdoor executions of the campaign will use custom Quick Response (QR) codes to encourage buying on the spot.
Forrester Relevant Products/Services analyst Sucharita Mulpuru told the AP that she’s not sure if the campaign will change consumer’s perceptions on eBay. But she believes the mobile shopping focus makes sense since the market is small so far and eBay offers one of the best mobile shopping experiences.
“It’s a growth engine for the marketplace,” she said. “They may as well double down on it.”
- eBay Unveils “When it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay” Advertising Campaign – eBay
- eBay Campaign – eBay
- EBay targets mobile users, hoping to seem hip – Los Angeles Times
- eBay goes after mobile shoppers with a new ad campaign – Internet Retailer
Discussion Questions: Is emphasizing mobile shopping the right path for eBay to change perceptions in the marketplace? Do you think eBay is successfully proving to the public that it has shifted away from its auction-house roots?