BBDO Breaks Quirky Effort for eBay Express

NEW YORK “It’s time for something new on eBay.” That is the message of a quirky TV campaign for the online marketplace’s new eBay Express service, which draws from fixed-price listings on eBay.com and eBay Stores.

The effort, from BBDO in New York, broke this week in prime time and consists of 25 15-second spots designed to air consecutively in single commercial pods or scattered during specific programming.

The commercials feature a spokesperson who has unique experiences while touting the service. In one spot, he first appears with a beard on a soundstage in front of the company logo; in the next shot, he sports a mustache.

In another execution, he begins as a fair blond man, but as a makeup artist works on him, he transforms into his dark-haired self.

In still another spot, he leaves the set to quiet down another production next door (“I’m shooting a commercial over here”), and finds an identical actor filming the same commercial (“So am I”). A third version of the character appears and says “Me too” at the end of the spot.

Additional scenarios find the spokesman growing a Pinocchio nose and turning into a giant and a puppet master.

“It’s a media idea as well as an idea for the commercials,” said BBDO creative director Scott M. Kaplan, who also served as art director and copywriter on the ads with creative director Tom Christmann. “Every time you see it, it’s new.”

Executive creative director Greg Hahn added, “The big idea, rather than just to say ‘new,’ was to be new.”

To incorporate the brand campaign for eBay, which uses the word “It,” the spokesperson holds up an “It” logo during his pitch.

“We didn’t want it to feel like a whole new campaign,” added Hahn, “so tied back to the brand. We wanted to keep it slightly attached.”

Ulf Johansson of Smith & Sons, Los Angeles, directed the spots.