The film opens with a young man wearing ghungroos performing classical dance on a terrace in the rain, unmindful of a lady looking at him strangely. We then have vignettes of similar ‘outlandish’ situations including a girl in a salwar kameez walking past a club, riding away on a cruiser bike, a man proposing to his boyfriend with an engagement ring, a tired housewife relaxing on a reclining chair that doesn’t question her need to rest. The film ends with a voiceover saying no matter what others say, the 10 crore products on eBay don’t judge you. Instead they say, “Jeeyo aur jeene do.”
Launching a TV commercial after three years, eBay India has tried to capture online shopper behaviour and how it is changing the way we live since its last ad campaign. The TVC showcases various situations where people break away from societal prejudices, by means of a product they have purchased from eBay.
The ad does make one sit up and take notice as it attempts to drive conversation while also trying to rope in new consumers by creating awareness about its vast range of 10 crore products. But we have a problem. The company takes the same route as many other brands have recently — by showcasing empowerment, breaking the traditional mindset, etc. One wonders if the ‘exception’ is becoming the norm in advertising. eBay does it intelligently though, through Live and Let Live.
Shivani Suri, director marketing, eBay India, says, “We believe that till last year the e-commerce market was growing but on unhealthy metrics which weren’t sustainable. Thanks to certain government regulations, there is an element of reality and therefore this is the right time to push our brand.”
Incidentally, Jabong in its recent campaign also attempted to break stereotypes and celebrated gender-fluidity, by encouraging consumers to be true to themselves without bothering about the society.
Josy Paul, chairman, BBDO India, states, “When we started work on eBay, we had questions: will our idea provoke conversation? Will the context last longer than the immediacy of the content? Will it influence change? We could feel the energy in the room when this idea came up.”
The theme of the campaign, however, seems overdone with most ads across categories revolving around similar messaging these days. Part of the same palette, each brand seems to be mixing its own set of colours to create a new one and project it as an innovative attempt to break traditional mindsets.
What probably works here is driving the message that expansion of online shopping reflects an evolving society open to adopting new things. The campaign breaks during the crucial festive season when other e-tailers are gearing up to lure customers with attractive offers. Will eBay India’s thematic brand campaign match up to the festive campaigns of the other players in the space? At least the brand attempted to zag on that front.