Etsy's new ads will have you crying over your handmade holiday presents

Ahead of the giving season, sentimental spots from 72andSunny hit you right in the heart

Published On
Oct 28, 2020

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Consumers feeling a little overly emotional right now might want to have a box of tissues handy for Etsy’s holiday spots. The Brooklyn-based online marketplace is debuting three heart-tugging commercials this week that feature a more narrative-driven approach than in previous years, which have been more product-driven.

It’s Etsy’s first effort from 72andSunny, which won the project through an RFP issued earlier this year, according to the Ryan Scott, chief marketing officer.

In one spot (above), grandparents lament not seeing their grandkids for Christmas this year, likely due to restrictions related to coronavirus. Yet they’re able to visit electronically and exchange handmade, unique gifts.

Another spot shows a girl named Shiori unable to find products with her name on them, until her mother gifts her a personalized name-necklace from Etsy. A third ad shows a man attending the holiday party of his boyfriend's family, unsure if he will be welcome until he receives a special gift. Vincent Haycock directed the spots via Somesuch.


Scott says consumers are looking for more thoughtful gifts this year, a year when they may have more time to do their research. Many retailers have already released holiday campaigns, weeks ahead of previous years, as the pandemic has lengthened the shopping season.


The new ads are running on broadcast and connected TV in the U.S. and in some international markets as the brand continues to expand. The campaign also includes advertising on podcasts and TikTok. All arrive on the heels of stellar earnings results on Wednesday.

After becoming a face mask destination earlier this year, Etsy has maintained sales growth by focusing on more personalized crafts that appeal to do-it-yourselfers stuck at home. For the three months ended Sept. 30, the company generated revenue of $451.5 million, a 128% increase over the year-earlier period. Etsy also reported a 42% increase in active sellers and a 55% increase in active buyers during the quarter.

The company had increased its marketing investment even before the holiday. Etsy spent $126.8 million on marketing for the quarter, an increase of 153% over the year-earlier period. Nearly 20% of that was spent on channels including TV and digital video.

“Consumer shopping habits have been greatly influenced by the events of 2020, and Etsy truly stands for something different,” said Josh Silverman, Etsy’s chief executive, in a statement.