Ebay pushes sustainability message with a lively earworm

U.K. spot from McCann highlights brand's recycling mantra 'when you buy a thing, sell a thing'

Published On
Oct 18, 2021

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In the run-up to the United Nations' 201 Climate Change Conference, COP26, brands have been actively touting their environmental credentials, as in Hitachi's "zero carbon-powered ad"  and McDonald's spot showcasing its sustainability goals. Now Ebay is pushing its concerns for the planet in its latest U.K. spot. Rather than preaching, however, the brand is taking a feel-good musical approach with a tune that may get stuck in your head.

The ad, by McCann London, highlights Ebay's recycling mantra, with the line "when you buy a thing, sell a thing." The spot features bright colors, diverse casting and people looking as if they're having a ball as they pass on their unwanted goods while buying something new.  The spot was directed by David Wilson via Riff Raff Films in music video style; the bespoke music was composed by David Goo and featuring Mac.

The campaign is running across U.K. TV, YouTube and radio. It reminds consumers in a gentle way that Ebay's founding principle is about selling as well as buying, and in doing both, people can make sure they aren't adding to environmental waste.  "It's a simple idea, chuck nothing away," the song recommends.

The U.K. push comes as Ebay is among resale brands benefiting from the supply chain crisis. The company's Senior VP and General Manager Jordan Sweetman said recently it is “experiencing surging demand for unique, rare and pre-owned items.”

“Ebay was founded on the principle that people are inherently good," said Ebay's U.K. Chief Marketing Officer Eve Williams in a statement. "And over 25 years later we can see how this continues to make people feel, as they pass on a much-loved treasure, or re-kindle joy in the eyes of someone else. We value how we’re helping our diverse community of buyers and sellers to make more sustainable choices."

“The first-ever sale on Ebay was a broken laser pen. That’s right. Broken," added McCann London creative directors Matt Searle and Olly Wood. "Seemingly useless. Unable to startle a moggy or wave wisdom at a whiteboard. But someone, somewhere out there bought that thing, fixed it up, and found joy in it. It’s these humble yet inspirational beginnings that continue to spark Ebay’s sustainability mission today and course through the veins of this infectious film, which aspires to land a world-changing behaviour that if it caught on, could make everything, a better thing.”


Oct 18, 2021
Client :
Agency :
McCann U.K.
Chief Marketing Officer :
Eve Williams
Senior Brand Marketing Manager :
Ellis Hourshid
Brand Marketing Manager :
Harley Ilott
Brand Graduate :
Theodore Maloney
Laurence Thomson & :
Chief Creative Officer :
Rob Doubal
Chief Strategy Officer :
Theo Izzard-Brown
Executive Creative Director :
Ray Shaughnessy
Executive Creative Director :
Dan Norris
Creative Director :
Matt Searle
Creative Director :
Olly Wood
Senior Creative :
Misha Newby
Global Business Lead :
Sailesh Jani
Business Director :
Tom Oliver
Senior Account Manager :
Omid Faramarzi
Account Associate :
Sasha Semple
Strategy Director :
Harrison Steinhart
Project Director :
Clare Prager
Project Manager :
Neil Tingey
Head of Design :
Lisa Carrana
Motion Designer :
Dani Wolf
Designer :
Harry Ingrams
Head of Integrated Production :
Sophie Chapman-Andrews
Executive Producer :
Jonathan Davis
Senior Producer :
Claire Welberry
Senior Producer :
Anna Cartwright
Producer & produced by :
Chloe Brown
Music Supervisor :
Chris Graves
Production Company :
Riff Raff Films
Director :
David Wilson
Executive Producer :
Tracey Cooper
Producer :
Lauren Highman
Director of Photography :
Daniel Bronks
Production Designer :
James Hatt
Casting Director :
Sophie North
Edit House :
The Quarry
Editor :
Meg Thorne
Head of Production :
Tor Adams
Producer :
Jenn Sanders
Black Kite Studios
Color :
Richard Fearon
VFX Lead :
Ahmed El-Azma
VFX Shoot Supervisor :
Tito Fernandes
VFX Producer :
Hannah Ruddleston
Sound Mix :
Grand Central Recording Studios
Artist :
David Goo Feat. Mac
Composer :
David Giles
Composer :
Misha Newby
Composer :
Alika McGillivary
Publisher :
Wixen Music
Publisher :
Freckle Music
Publisher :

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