Anushree Bhattacharyya

eBay: In safe hands

The new campaign highlights eBay as the best deal destination that provides a guaranteed and safe online shopping experience with the widest range of brand new everyday use products, with the promise, 'Want it. Get it'.

Till sometime ago, it was fairly common for visitors to foreign countries to be plagued by requests from acquaintances to purchase the latest model of a product; people also waited for the price to fall before they got the desired product at a better price. E-commerce site eBay's campaign for this festive season is based on this particular consumer insight and highlights it as the best deal destination that provides a guaranteed and safe online shopping experience, with the widest range of brand new everyday use products.

eBay: In safe hands
eBay: In safe hands
The thought is further enunciated through the brand promise, 'Want it. Get it.'

Conceptualised by Law & Kenneth, the campaign is a series of four television commercials, with each showing various real life situations. The TVCs show how people tend to go to any length to buy a product they desire - be it through their relatives or wait for the launch of a new product, so they can buy the old model at a lower price.

The first one, titled 'Camera', shows a young couple. The wife, who knows that her husband is not fond of her uncle who lives in the US, is surprised to hear her husband enquire about his visit. The husband reveals that he intends to buy a new DSLR camera. The wife then advises him to get a deal on eBay.

The second TVC, called, 'Mobile', shows two friends at a party. One of them envies the other's new phone and says he plans to wait for the next edition, so he can buy the old model at a cheaper price. His friend retorts that eBay gives the best deals on latest phones throughout the year.

All the four TVCs end with a voiceover that says, "Get deals on eBay India that you can't get anywhere else," and the brand promise, 'Want it. Get it'.

eBay: In safe hands
Kashyap Vadapalli, chief marketing officer, eBay India, says, "Our new marketing campaign brings alive the fact that eBay is the leading shopping destination for savvy online shoppers looking for great deals, offering an unmatched variety of products across categories. We foresee online shopping growing rapidly in India and as pioneers of e-commerce, our campaign aims to instil consumer confidence, promising the consumer a completely secure and satisfaction-guaranteed experience of getting the product they selected and paid for."

Rahul Nangia, chief creative officer, West and South, Law & Kenneth, explains, "People go to great lengths to get a better deal on their purchase. The films use this very simple insight to communicate the point that eBay has the best deals one can find."

All the four TVCs are currently on air across various television channels.

Art of communication

While advertising experts find the insight used by Law & Kenneth to be a perfect recipe for a great campaign, they feel that the films are a letdown on execution.

eBay: In safe hands
eBay: In safe hands
Shriram Iyer, creative head, Delhi, Lowe Lintas & Partners, says, "First of all, kudos to the planners/strategists/creative for pulling out relevant insights to base the stories on. The ads are hard working but I personally think that in the clutter of ads that rely on charming conversations between good looking people, here comes one more set. Of course, better ads are easier said than done. The task of taking a leap from these insights is a difficult one, but not impossible. Having said that, the conversations are handled reasonably nicely by the creative and film makers, especially the 'Uncle from US' ad. Love the cast. Overall, though the ads are nice, they don't make me say 'Wish I had done these'."

"This pre-festive season has seen an explosion of online e-tailers jostling for eyeballs, wallets and actually, other than a Flipkart, not for a specific positioning or mind space with consumers. Noise seems to be the order of the day, with Diwali (the festival of noise, oh, and lights, too) around the corner. The e-classifieds category has jumped onto the bandwagon, with OLX and Quikr adding to the cacophony," remarks Narayan Devanathan, senior vice-president and national planning head, Dentsu Marcom.

"In that context, it's a little refreshing to see eBay not pussyfooting about who its target is, 'The savvy online shopper'. However, eBay could've raised the bar just a bit with the message articulation as well as the characterisation of the target. If it wanted to talk to savvy online shoppers, it could've just focused on celebrating those avant-garde individuals instead of preaching to the non-choir of ignorant offline shoppers like everyone else, no? Perhaps that would've been a differentiated stance, and unique to only eBay - not the plethora of new kids on the online block," adds Devanathan.

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