#ThingsDontJudge – How 22Feet’s bold communication strategy for eBay India helped differentiate the ecommerce player

Case study by 22Feet aimed at devising a new communication strategy that gave character to eBay India’s products, submitted under the category: ‘Best Brand Building (B2C)’ for LI Digital Awards 2017

ebay_india_things_dont_judge

The Client

eBay is an American multinational corporation and e-commerce company, providing consumer-to-consumer and business-to-consumer sales services via the Internet. eBay India being one of the leading e-commerce companies is digitally driven with campaigns that are looked forward to.

The Agency

22feet is a digital solutions provider, where the people, the culture, the work, and the possibilities are as interesting as the ’22feet story’. We didn’t measure the human gut. However, Wikipedia tells us it’s 22feet long. We’re a digital solutions provider whose engines run on ‘gut fuel’. We go by instinct, in everything we do the work we create, the people we hire, the clients we choose, for everything, we trust the 22feet in us to tell us which box to tick.

We believe that creativity and technology should not sit in different cubicles and meet only at the point of execution, instead our work culture encourages continuous conversations between these two pillars on which any successful digital solutions is built. At 22feet, it’s all about conversations. Conversations between the creatively-bent and the technologically-inclined. Conversations between brands and consumers. Conversations between ‘practical’ and ‘impossible’. Conversation between today and the day-after-tomorrow. The conversation never stops.

Problem Statement

  • Create social communication that encourages people to be a part of the conversation
  • Find a content style that is a right fit for the brand and carries forward the message of the main video.
  • To communicate the functional aspect of the brand (10 crore products on eBay)

Identified Objectives

‘Things Don’t Judge’ – Three words that encapsulate 10 crore products under eBay India’s wing.

When eBay India, one of India’s leading eCommerce players, decided to devise a new communication strategy, it had two checkboxes to tick. One was to differentiate itself from its competitors. Second was to design a cutting-edge communication thought that cultivated the brand’s unwritten values.

eBay’s mainline agency, BBDO, found its insight in the fact that eBay houses more products than any eCommerce portal could ever think of and each of these had a utility for one person or other. The marketing communication had to cover the brand’s range while subtly hinting there is nothing wrong in buying whatever you would want to.

For the fact that we live our lives being scared of what the society may perceive of us, eBay India had to percolate and make a statement that one ought not to live in burden of judgements. Being a well-known eCommerce player, it was a given that the brand gave spotlight to its product portfolio while attempting to address the need for a society that is tolerant, equal and just.

The Strategy/Execution

The Idea

The solution was to devise a communication strategy that gave character to eBay India’s products – ‘10 crore products that don’t judge’.

The brand kick-started the campaign with a gutsy television commercial. The TVC went viral attracting attention of people from all quarters of life succeeding to connect and sensitize its audience on several relevant issues. The TVC gave way to a crisp hashtag #ThingsDontJudge which was later used to activate the brand’s social media communication.

The social communication stood firm on three pillars:

  • Real people with compelling stories to share
  • Joining topical conversations
  • Commenting on existing social prejudices/issues

All of these approaches were executed with a clear-cut product connect.

Campaign Execution

The social media campaign titled ‘Things Don’t Judge’ commenced immediately after the TVC was live. Knowing eBay India’s diverse audiences from all strata of society, the communication was decidedly wholesome, attempting to trickle the noble message to as many as possible.

eBay India’s masterstroke was to veer into the territory of real stories. Not to be confused with platforms like ‘Humans of New York’, the brand made sure to find the right balance to connect these achievers to products that helped them break barriers.

Amplifying the same, eBay India started addressing topical issues. The brand had its own take on a trending news item and offered independent stances on how people judge but products do not.

Simultaneously, eBay India identified issues that force people to make severe judgements on each other. The issues were later constructed to communicate to our audience that one shouldn’t indulge in them – as their associated products clearly do not.

Results

The impact of ‘Things Don’t Judge’ was such that our audience had to react and organically so. eBay India’s TVC and social media content were moving enough for their fans to storm the pages with their respective takes.

Keeping the momentum alive, eBay India tied up with two of the biggest Bollywood films of the year – Ae Dil Hai Mushkil and Dear Zindagi – that had themes relevant to ‘Things Don’t Judge’. The tie-ups also saw related communication on social channels to propagate the overarching message behind ‘Things Don’t Judge’ that these films underlined in their respective plots.

  • The campaign created a reach of 19664615 and got an engagement of 9% on Facebook. It garnered 3645 shares for the content created.
  • On Twitter, celebrity influencer Shobhaa De tweeted about the campaign which received 259 RTs and was covered by 49 publications.
  • Twitter saw a lot of traction on tweets related to trending topics.

Observations

Content about real people and issues struck a chord with the audience and we received a lot of reactions on the things we were talking about.

The brand message was clear and simple to understand and we received some entries from people about the products that did not judge them.