Etsy Campaign, Policy Changes Take Company Back To Its Artisan Roots

Etsy launched an ad campaign Tuesday, along with changes to its policies that reflect a growing need for a blend of technology and human connections and creativity.

The journey reflected in its ad campaign articulates the love each artesian puts into the handmade pieces of art they sell on the site.

The Brand Mission Campaign is intended to link changes Etsy made to its website experience with technology with an ad campaign, with TV spots that feature ceramicists, clothing makers and other artists.

One TV spot opens with a robot arm, with the narrator asking, "What does a robot know about love?" It goes on to explain how artisans transform love inside their human heart into something people can see and hold.

Brad Minor, chief brand officer at Etsy, wrote in a blog post that the company's social content "tells the deeper stories of our sellers, while our new TV ad is a love letter from us to them as our partners in Etsy’s mission to keep commerce human."



The core of the campaign is to bring sellers' names to the forefront reminding buyers why Etsy is special. They spotlight passion and creativity, as well as reinforce the importance of Etsy's mission to Keep Commerce Human in a world of increasingly "commoditized and soulless manufacturing."

Billboards throughout New York City and London feature sellers. Each highlights the unique role they play in making their items. The out-of-home placements feel intimate and accessible through street-level postings. "Grassroots-style" ads aim to call attention to sellers with iconic status traditionally reserved for celebrity spokespeople.

The music in the spot is by the Academy Award-nominated composer Jerskin Fendrix, but he write that the "real soundtrack you hear is made by Etsy sellers JieunWyethKwadwoGabriel and Jesus."

Along with the campaign the company unveiled a series of updates across its policies, shopping experience, and how Etsy serves-up to the world.

Josy Silverman, Etsy CEO, shared a video message with sellers Tuesday morning, addressing how the company will support arcticians in selling their unique items--tens of millions--to consumers and reinforce what the company stands for in a series of policies changes. 

Silverman wants Etsy, whose mission is to keep commerce human, to get back to its artesian roots.

The changes come as the company faces pressure to compete with Amazon, TikTok, as well as newcomers such as China-based Temu. 

The platform’s new rules require all items to incorporate “a human touch” as outlined by its creativity standards. Each product has to fall into one of four categories: made by a seller (either by hand or using automated tools), designed by a seller, handpicked by a seller, or sourced by a seller.

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