Goodby Extends eBay’s ‘My Way’ Songbook

SAN FRANCISCO Where else would you get the chance to rhyme “cycles, too” with “dress shoe?”

Thanks to the song-styling talents of the Goodby, Silverstein & Partners creative team of Jamie Barrett, Steve Mapp and Matt Rivitz, the threesome has reworked the Frank Sinatra standard, “My Way,” into yet another musical commercial for eBay, breaking May 19.

The latest 30-second spot from the San Francisco agency, called “Traffic Jam,” features stand-up comedienne Debi Gutierrez singing the praises of the San Jose, Calif.-company’s automotive offerings. The eBay Motors used-car division makes up a quarter of the online auction company’s sales, according to Annette Goodwine, senior director of brand marketing.

Turning the well-known song on end to tell the eBay story has worked well for the company for the past two quarters, Goodwine said. “It definitely broke through the clutter. From brand tracking and awareness and recognition, the spots have performed above our expectations,” she said.

Barrett said writing humorous lyrics is not difficult when there’s a great path to follow, namely the classic melody of “My Way.” “And with something like this, there are not a lot of wrong answers,” he said. “We write a lot of different lyrics.”

Every “My Way” commercial to date has been lip-synched by the actors. “We look for the very best voice and the soundtrack is always completed before we shoot the spots. We don’t want to butcher Frank’s songs,” said Barrett. “We wouldn’t want the chairman of the board mad at us.”

It remains to be seen if eBay will continue to rework the song in future commercials. Barrett said there might be different songs used as well. “We want to be the Weird Al of the advertising world, where we reinvent ourselves and do different songs and keep surprising people,” he said. “We’ll continue to deliver eBay’s message through new songs.”