Link: Click Here – the reviewed spot is called “Anthem.” Watch all four spots to see the entire campaign.
Target: People looking for things
EDITOR’S NOTE: With this review, we initiate the ThirdWay Advertising Archive. Whenever possible we will archive and stream the spots we review to allow our blog readers to view the spots for free.
To the sound of the Monkees “Daydream Believer”, we see “IT” as a camera, skateboard, mobile, engagement ring, steak, terrarium, dodgeball. laptop, flatscreen TV, designer dress, car and tiara among other things. The word “IT” literally replaces these everyday objects of desire. In the last two frames of the spot we hear and see the tagline “Whatever IT is, you can get it on eBay” with different items rotating through the “IT.”
This is possibly the biggest metaphor-as-commercial that anyone has ever produced. The metaphor is simple and to the point. We all have something we want. Whatever IT is, we can find it at eBay.
This is an excellent way to boil the essence of eBay down to a single unique proposition. Essentially, eBay is making the claim “the world at the end of your mouse.” It is an ownable brand positioning because really only eBay has the depth and diversity to make this claim – it is the only place one could buy either an antique chair or a new car along with everything in-between.
This spot depends very much on the proposition that everyone knows what eBay is and how it works and the work of the advertising is just to remind people that eBay is the best place to look for everything. While this is not literally true, it is close enough to being the truth that the spot will probably also interest those who don’t know eBay to learn more. In fact, this advertising is aimed at current eBay users. Apparently, many of these folks don’t realize how many different things they can buy on eBay. BBDO told us that “the goal of the campaign is to get existing users to check eBay first whenever they shop online by redefining how they think of eBay’s inventory.”
What is fascinating about this spot is how much effort goes into keeping the message simple. Even though the spot employs numerous setups, some ingenious props and an expensive soundtrack, everything is sharply focused on creating the idea of IT as “the thing which you desire” and then paying it off with eBay as the place to get IT.
As much as we like the execution of this spot we have one concern that prevents us from rating it higher. Our issue is a familiar one to readers of this Advertising Blog. In this :60 second spot, we are not sure the link between IT (which takes about :50 seconds to establish) and eBay (which uses the last :10 seconds) is strong enough. The branding of eBay is not as strong as it could be, although given the spend levels on this campaign we doubt anyone will forget who “IT” comes from after the first few months on-air. We know that eBay and BBDO are less worried about this linkage because of the duration and intensity of this campaign.
Actually, the fifteen second version of this spot which just shows the presentation of the “IT” engagement ring and cuts directly to the tagline “whatever IT is, you can get IT on eBay” may be more effective as a branding vehicle even though it doesn’t fully dimensionalize the fact that “IT” can be anything you want.
Another thing to note is the viral twist to this campaign. The :30 ‘teaser’ ad for this spot (click here and watch the spot called “The IT Spokesman”) did not even mention the eBay campaign – it only gave the address for a cryptic website. We are not sure that many consumers really pay attention to this sort of intrigue, but at worst it is an expensive way to increase the measured attention for the subsequent spots.
Branding Bottom Line:
We still don’t know what IT is, but we know that we want IT.