Etsy airs first TV spot featuring voiceover from Nick Offerman

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Etsy is crafting a new marketing strategy that includes the online marketplace's first national TV commercial. The Brooklyn, New York-based company plans to air a 30-second spot during the Tuesday evening premier of "Making It," the NBC show with Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman.

"We decided to treat this as a love letter to our sellers," says Linda Kozlowski, Etsy's chief operating officer, who oversees marketing for both sellers and buyers. "We'll use the ad as an opportunity to talk about the importance of specialty."

She notes that the campaign is well-timed for "Making It," which includes Dayna Isom Johnson, Etsy trend expert, as a judge, and the coming holiday season when consumers will be thinking about gifting. Etsy will air a commercial in each of the show's six episodes.

The company has come a long way since its 2005 founding and now has 35 million buyers and 2 million active sellers, but has struggled in recent years with profitability and competitors such as Amazon's Handmade. Last year, Etsy replaced longtime CEO Chad Dickerson with Josh Silverman, a veteran of eBay and Skype. The company has also had multiple rounds of layoffs. Yet such streamlining could be paying off; in the first quarter, Etsy, which went public three years ago, reported revenue of $120.9 million, a 25 percent increase over the year-earlier period, along with net income of $13 million, compared with a loss of $421,000 last year.

In the spot, "Life Deserves Imagination," a woman is walking the aisles of a brick-and-mortar store as Offerman says in a voiceover, "We all need stuff, but sometimes life calls for something more meaningful." The ad showcases special moments in need of a "human touch," like dinner parties, breakups and weddings, as it features some of Etsy's more unique offerings. All of the designers in the spot are actual Etsy sellers, Kozlowski says.

The spot will run in a 60-second version on digital channels and through the seller community. Etsy's in-house creative team created the campaign, with assistance from We Collective and Wax. Delving into national TV is one of the actions the brand is exploring as it fine-tunes its marketing strategy.

"This is just the beginning of a lot of testing and figuring out ways we can use above-the-line to help support our sellers," says Kozlowski.

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