Ecommerce Weepies: Amazon, Etsy Launch High-Emo Holiday Ads

The holidays are coming, and two of the world’s most powerful gifting sites want to make darn sure they’ve got consumers reaching for their hankies. 

Both Etsy and Amazon, well aware that people in the U.S. are leaning further into ecommerce holiday shopping and early-in-the-season purchases, are launching emotional spots designed to remind us just how COVID-19 is reshaping holiday traditions.

One of Etsy’s spots, called "Nana,"focuses on grandparents unable to be with family.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s mini-movie highlights the heartbreak of a young ballerina and how friends and family help her perform -- at least in 2020 style.



“We believe that this holiday season, it will be more important than ever to surround ourselves with things that remind us to be grateful and to give gifts that hold meaning,” says Ryan Scott, Etsy’s CMO, in an email to Marketing Daily. “Buyers are shopping with their hearts, and they want to support small businesses more than ever.”

The campaign, from 72andSunny, also includes two sweet spots highlighting the company’s commitment to inclusion. In "New Guy," a thoughtful family gift becomes a symbol of acceptance for a same-sex couple. And in "Shiori," a unique necklace helps a young girl struggling with self-identity.

Scott says the Brooklyn-based company expects personalized jewelry, items for the home, toys, and DIY kits to continue to be popular this holiday season. 

And while the ads will likely be competing with many heart-tugging messages, “these spots are a true reflection of Etsy," he adds. "Shopping on Etsy offers a personal, intimate connection to people at a time when we can’t hug the ones we love.”

Ads are running on national and digital channels in the U.S., with the U.K. soon to follow. For the first time, Etsy plans a campaign for Germany as well.

Amazon’s effort is set to break in the U.S. later this week on "Sunday Night Football." The two-minute tear-jerker is set to a version of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On.” After the virus cancels the performance a young dancer has been tirelessly preparing for, her family and friends conspire to create a rooftop recital.

Shot by director Melina Matsoukas, whose credits include Beyonce’s “Formation” and Rihanna’s “We Found Love,” the film stars a 17-year-old French ballet dancer.

It’s also scheduled to run in the U.K., Germany, Austria, France, Italy and Spain.

The campaign will appear on online video and digital as well, with 30- and 60-second versions running on national TV and digital channels throughout the holiday season, its announcement says.

Amazon worked with Lucky Generals to create the campaign.

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