EBay targets Gen Z with first brand campaign in three years

New work positions company as a trusted e-commerce brand amid a sea of counterfeits

Published On
Dec 19, 2022

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Founded nearly three decades ago, eBay is older than many of the Gen Z customers it is trying to court. That’s why the San Jose, California-based company, which got its start in 1995, is reintroducing itself to younger consumers as a trusted source for luxury goods.

“Everyone Deserves Real,” eBay’s first brand campaign in three years, debuts today on streaming platforms and online video.

A 30-second spot highlights the reality behind many of the campaigns and products seen on digital media. “In a world full of fakes, how do you avoid buying fake items?” a voiceover asks, with the message “Never get f*ked over again.” The video switches to clips showcasing eBay’s team of authenticators who ensure that high-end items like watches, sneakers and jewels are actually from the brands they claim. The spot closes with text that reads, “ebay. Authenticity Guarantee.”

The new push comes on the heels of eBay’s Luxury Exchange temporary store, which opened in New York last month. Shoppers were encouraged to visit the two-day pop-up shop and exchange their pre-owned high-end items, from brands such as Gucci and Rolex, for items from eBay’s seller shops.

Such pushes have been created with “a Gen Z and millennial audience in mind,” a spokeswoman said, as amid all of the “fakery” in pop culture, shoppers have become wary of what is real when buying online.

Indeed, studies have shown that younger consumers crave authenticity—in marketing and in general business behavior.

EBay has been focusing its marketing on its vertical product lines, such as fashion. Late last year, the company rolled out its first work from Joan, its new creative agency of record, for eBay Motors. The “Everyone Deserves Real” campaign, created with Joan, expands the marketing to the overall eBay brand. The company’s last brand campaign was in 2019, according to a spokeswoman.

“Trust is the heartbeat of eBay, and ‘Everyone Deserves Real’ serves as both a rallying cry and a promise to our community of buyers and sellers,” said Emily O’Hara, eBay’s head of brand, in a statement.

In its most recent quarter, eBay surpassed analyst expectations despite a 5% dip in revenue to $2.4 billion. On a call with analysts, CEO Jamie Iannone said that eBay has “adjusted our approach to marketing” following a decline in sales volume before the pandemic. But “improvements in customer satisfaction, trust, product experience and marketing” have helped turn things around, specifically in focus categories, he said. EBay focus categories include jewelry, sneakers and refurbished products.