eBay to roll out its first TV commercial in 3 years

eBay seeks to attract new users to its platform during the festive sales period


eBay kickstarted its 45-day festive sale on 15 September. Photo: Bloomberg
eBay kickstarted its 45-day festive sale on 15 September. Photo: Bloomberg

Bengaluru: Online marketplace eBay India Pvt Ltd will roll out its first television commercial in three years on Wednesday as it seeks to attract new users to its platform during the festive sales period.

Through the campaign titled ‘Things Don’t Judge’, which touches upon issues such as gender bias, religion and same sex marriage, eBay says it is attempting to shake up “prejudices and preconceived notions in the society,” and drive the message that expansion of online shopping reflects an evolving society that is open to adopting new things.

“Through this ad, we are trying to touch upon the very deep seeded prejudices or preconceived notions that we hold as a society. As a brand, we believe that today India has evolved and it is time of the awakening where there is a gradual understanding or acceptance for the not so familiar way of life,” said Shivani Suri, director-marketing, eBay India.

“Online shopping is seen as another way of life. It is a more contemporary living. The attributes that surround online shopping and online shoppers are open minded, futuristic, individualistic and independent,” she added.

The commercial will be aired for the next one month on 67 channels in English, Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil and Kannada in key markets such as Delhi, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Pune and Kolkata among others. The commercial, which will go hand-in-hand with eBay’s social media and other online campaigns, will also be aired during movie premiers, reality shows and sports events among others.

Suri said the campaign will help eBay grow beyond its current active user base of 5.6 million but declined to comment on sales targets for the festive season. eBay says it offers about 10 crore products from about 70,000 merchants.

The run-up to the festive season marks the most crucial period for e-commerce companies as they gear up to lure customers with attractive offers and discounts. Typically, e-commerce companies witness maximum sales between September and December.

Also Read: In e-commerce battle, Devin Wenig wants eBay to be the anti-Amazon

The country’s largest e-commerce companies—Flipkart Ltd, Snapdeal (Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd) and Amazon India (Amazon Seller Services Pvt. Ltd)—are gearing up for festive sales in October.

Flipkart and Snapdeal have announced their Big Billion Day and Unbox Diwali sales respectively from 2-6 October, while Amazon will host the Great Indian Festival from 1- 5 October.

eBay kickstarted its 45-day festive sale on 15 September.

The companies have started spending aggressively on television commercials and advertisements across print and digital platforms, especially around their product offerings and special offers and discounts.

Also Read: Improved customer service keeps Flipkart on top of e-commerce rankings

“This is the time when there is active consideration, even by new users who have never shopped online. Also, the wallet allows it. Hence, this is the best period to tell your story when there is active consideration among buyers,” said Suri.

eBay entered India in 2004 by acquiring Bazee.com, an auction site, much before the likes of Flipkart and Snapdeal saw the light of day and Amazon set up shop in India. Flipkart was started in 2007, Snapdeal in 2010 and Amazon launched its India operations in 2013. But eBay ceded its early-mover advantage to local rivals and to Amazon, which entered India in June 2013, all of which outspent eBay to attract shoppers.

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