|Wed Sept 14 2011 23:29:03|
eBay Seeks Mobile Shoppers with New TV Ad Campaign
By: Ina Steiner
Ecommerce used to be about the click of the mouse on a desktop or laptop computer. Retailers are hoping it will soon be about the tap of a finger on a mobile device so they can engage shoppers at all times, wherever they happen to be. No one is going after mobile shoppers more aggressively than eBay, as evidenced by its new television advertising campaign.
The new TV ads show customers quickly purchasing new fashion and electronics on eBay.com using smartphones and tablets. The campaign reflects eBay's continued attempts to move from an image of a C2C marketplace offering one-of-a-kind and bargain-basement goods to a B2C marketplace where shoppers can buy new items with just a few clicks (or taps).
Each vignette shows a shopper who wants to buy an item as quickly as possible, ranging from a teenage girl who buys jeans on eBay rather than getting stuck with her mother's hand-me-downs, to an office worker who succumbs to peer pressure and instantly buys a tablet on eBay to stop teasing by co-workers.
Generally sellers urge eBay to advertise on television in order to drive traffic to the site, but they also offer no-holds-barred critiques of eBay's campaigns. This year, they may worry about the ease with which mobile shoppers hit the order button. The ads show shoppers simply looking at one photo of the item and clicking the buy button without reading the description, price or terms, which vary depending on which of eBay's millions of sellers are offering the item.
Given that the ads are rolling out in preparation for the holiday shopping season, it's interesting to note that none of shoppers is buying gifts for friends or family. Rather, the characters are impulse shoppers seeking instant gratification - which may be the point. The ads appeal to young shoppers who use mobile devices, but they do so at the expense of older shoppers, whom eBay may risk alienating - or at least annoying - with the commercials.
The ads are a far cry from light-hearted ads of previous years. In 2002, the tagline was: "Do it eBay" (To the sound of Frank Sinatra's "I Did It My Way"). In 2005, the tagline was, "Whatever it is, you can get it on eBay." In 2007, it was, "Shop Victoriously."
eBay skipped TV ads in 2008, and in 2009, the tagline was "Come to think of it, eBay." In 2010, eBay launched the "unwrap attack" campaign that was designed to generate viral buzz on social media sites.
This year, eBay's TV ads may be targeted just as much at large retailers and brands to encourage them to sell on the site as they are targeted at mobile shoppers to buy on the marketplace.
Take a look at the ads and then let us know what you think of the "buy it new, buy it now" ads!