Etsy pivots ad campaign to support sellers as mask sales continue to rise
Pre-pandemic, Etsy had planned to market its wares this spring by focusing on products that are normally top sellers at this time of year, including items like jewelry and wedding products. But when the coronavirus sent society into lockdown and many small businesses into economic crisis, the 15-year-old online marketplace pivoted to a different marketing message.
At a time when many retailers have closed brick-and-mortar locations, a 30-second spot called “Always Open” is set to debut on broadcast and streaming TV on Thursday. The commercial highlights sellers with a voiceover, “There are millions of people making incredible things from home.” The spot, which includes footage of sewing and painting, notes that such sellers are “out there, always open, still making.” All of the footage featured was previously filmed and used for other campaigns, like a holiday TV effort, for example, but was repurposed for the new push, a spokeswoman for Brooklyn-based Etsy says.
“We really thought it was a great time for the brand to have more of an anthem spot with the brand experience—the DNA and special sauce of the seller, how the product is made, the magic behind Etsy,” says Ryan Scott, chief marketing officer of Etsy, noting that the spot connects sellers to consumers but also advocates for the independent and small businesses on the Etsy platform. The campaign was created in-house with external agency PS260.
Etsy is marketing merchandise categories around self-care and home décor as many consumers are housebound under lockdown orders. Scott says queries for face masks are still surging. Indeed, “face mask” has been the most frequently searched term on Etsy in the past two weeks, and the number of face mask sellers has increased five-fold in the last two weeks to nearly 20,000, according to an Etsy spokeswoman.
Scott declined to say how Etsy’s marketing budget has been affected by the coronavirus. Many marketing executives have said their budgets have been cut or that they are shifting more dollars into the third and fourth quarters.
On a business update presentation in early April, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman said the company has pushed back its TV spend. “On brand and above-the-line television, we acted very quickly to push back much of our TV spend, recognizing that the month of March and probably the month of April were not going to be times when people were really going to be in a mindset where Etsy was top of mind,” he said. “So we bought ourselves a lot of flexibility in terms of when we're coming online.”