OOH Ad Review: Ebay ‘Fill Your Cart with Colour’ Campaign

ebay logo

These days, online shopping is practically as natural as breathing. It’s just a thing that we all do. Perhaps we take it for granted.

That, at least, is eBay’s angle for their ‘Fill Your Cart With Colour’ campaign. They see it not just as a campaign, but also as a platform to appeal to the individuality of their buyer and seller base, telling the human stories behind their commercial operations.

The campaign seeks to offer a new, more personalised eBay user experience, drawing on AI tech to create a more responsive web platform.

eBay vs Amazon

In a world of “commercial conformity” dominated by Amazon, they’re encouraging consumers to rebel; to rediscover their passion for online buying and selling via their unique relationship to the material things in their lives. It feels like the classic marketing concept of connecting emotions to products, but there’s a thoroughness and sense of life to the campaign that is rather infectious.

They’re playing on the fact that eBay is slightly more quirky than Amazon. With Amazon, you know what you want, search for it and buy it. eBay is for those people looking for unique or hard to find items (although that said, they’re also pushing the fact that the majority of their items are new and “Buy It Now”).

It seems unlikely that eBay seriously expect to rival Amazon these days, but they are out to pull our collective attention back to eBay.

The online auction site has rolled out a series of glossy, perky video spots filled with bright colours across a range of platforms; they feature real life enthusiasts from worlds as diverse as baking, music, gardening, fly fishing and fashion, among others.

They’re taking on the “beigeness” of the plain brown cardboard box iconic to Amazon and have issued their own vibrant packaging options.

showing three colourfully packaged ebay boxes

All this is no doubt very exciting, but it’s par for the course given eBay’s eccentric aesthetic.

Fill Your Cart with Colour OUTDOORS

More interesting is the role of outdoor in this advertising mix.

The world of ecommerce is increasingly breaking through into the world of Outdoor.

The campaign began in North America but is moving to the UK. eBay say they are inspired by “the rich quirk and uniqueness” of the British people. No doubt we’re flattered.

showing an example of ebay's 'fill your cart with colour' campaign' on giant outdoor billboards

Subway billboards, with simple yet distinctive eBay iconography encourage audiences to “Find the thing that makes you, you”, whilst giant building-side billboards urge us to “shop like nobody else”.

showing an example of a subway billboard in ebay's 'fill your cart with colour' campaign

Battle of the brands

It’s not the first time that companies strictly associated with the online world take the battle for audience share onto the streets. Twitter recently painted their visual hashtag campaign on a large out-of-home canvas, linking the hashtag with which they are synonymous to major political and cultural events of the day.

showing Twitter's hashtag campaign

We will no doubt see more big brands move into the out-of-home arena next year as they attempt to shake up the ‘new normal’ that they have themselves established in our ecommerce focused, social-media connected world.

The approach of Black Friday and Cyber Monday must surely have also played some role in eBay’s timing of this campaign. Now that the previously short weekend of shopping mayhem has morphed into a whole week of frenzied shopping activity, we are witnessing the battle of the brands…online and offline.