eBay Launches New Campaign

Omnicom Group's BBDO launched a crafty TV teaser last week for "it"--literally, the word itself in red, yellow, and green cinder block-size letters. The spot directed viewers to whatis-it.com, where a video awaited to tell the story of "it"--a symbol for every must-have product ever made--from its creation and subsequent rise to fame, to its arrival on consumers' doorsteps after they found it on eBay.

From there, it should be clear to consumers that they've been led into an eBay-branded Web experience. Indeed, the teasers and Web site that launched last week are the first part of eBay's extensive multi-channel rebranding campaign, which will run through this year and deep into 2006, according to eBay's Director of Brand Marketing, Kevin McSpadden.

BBDO developed the campaign, which Agency.com is helping to execute and measure over the Internet. BBDO secured the eBay account in March, immediately following eBay's decision to end its six-year relationship with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.

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BBDO's new initiative attempts to show consumers that whatever they wish for--be it old or new, hot or not, rare or spare--they can find "it" on eBay. The company's last effort, developed by Goodby and called "The power of us all," focused on the community trust aspect of eBay's network. Before that came Goodby's theatrically informed "Do it eBay."

Whatis-it.com incorporates a section where users may customize their own "it" by material and size, and then print or send it to a friend. There are a series of original and high-quality productions produced by BBDO, which further document the story of "it," and its travels on the world media circuit from Mexico to Tokyo. A search bar brings users to eBay.com.

Another ad will debut at some point this week, then another in mid-November, said McSpadden. The whatis-it.com destination site will also be promoted with rich media banner advertising across the Web, a takeover of several Yahoo! sites, and extensive natural and paid search marketing.

"The teasers were meant to do just that, and they're just the tip of the iceberg," said McSpadden.

Print ads are running in Rolling Stone, People, Entertainment Weekly, and Time, among others.

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