Originally an Amazon-only holiday, Prime Day has become one of the biggest shopping events of the year, driving millions in sales for Amazon with other retailers jumping into the fray. Knowing that competitors would also be capitalizing on this day, eBay challenged us to develop a plan for Prime Day – inclusive of video, PR, digital and social components – that would set eBay apart, steal share of voice and have prospective customers shop them over the competition.
Our communication objectives:
- Increase awareness for eBay as a deals destination surrounding Prime Day
- Reinforce eBay’s overall marketplace competitiveness to make the brand top of mind during a saturated news cycle
We looked at the cultural context, headlines and social conversations surrounding Amazon and last year’s Prime Day to highlight eBay’s points of differentiation and build our story. We found that while nearly everyone shops Amazon, negative consumer sentiment with the world’s number one retailer had been steadily growing.
- Amazon has technical problems -- the site crashed multiple Prime Days in a row and frustration ensued when customers couldn’t get the deals they were after.
- Value-driven customers spoke out about Amazon pushing deals on its in-house brands and other less-than-desirable items.
- Amazon has a cost of entry to shop Prime Day with its $119 membership fee.
On Amazon’s biggest day and the days leading up to it, we planned for eBay to crash the party and break through the Prime Day noise by playfully serving deals on what shoppers really want.
The big idea: The Crash Sale
What it is: An irreverent sales event inspired by Amazon’s site crash during last year’s Prime Day, offering deals on items and brands shoppers actually, with even greater deals to be unlocked if Amazon’s technical issues struck again.
The Crash Sale received the support of the eBay US Comms, Marketing and Digital teams and was adopted by their teams abroad. Here’s how we brought it to life through earned, social and onsite at eBay.com:
- Fast-followed Amazon’s 2019 Prime Day announcement on June 25th with an announcement of our own the next morning – eBay is crashing Prime Day with thousands of discounts and even more too-good-to-be-true deals if Amazon crashed – again.
- Posted the announcement to PR Newswire and across eBay’s social channels. The timing was critical to ensure that eBay was included in initial Prime Day competitor conversations.
- Produced a 60-second video “Honest Alexa” featuring a sassy teenage girl named Alexa who throws shade at Amazon and teases eBay’s Crash Sale.
- Posted the asset across eBay’s owned social channels via :15 second cut-downs coupled with paid support to drive additional awareness.
- Utilized the video to drive another wave of earned media coverage in the days leading up to Prime Day for inclusion in national business, trade and broadcast coverage.
- Released an announcement via eBay’s blog and on its social channels the morning of Prime Day, July 15th to reveal specific deals that shoppers could access at eBay.com/CrashSale (the landing page assets were also designed by us).
- Shared the announcement under embargo in advance with key press.
- Unlocked even more Crash Sale deals – true to eBay’s promise – when news reports surfaced that an Amazon website glitch was preventing customers from adding merch to their carts on Prime Day – driving consideration for the brand all the way through the end of the sale.
eBay successfully disrupted Amazon Prime Day by stealing the spotlight with the Crash Sale and Honest Alexa video, and giving shoppers an underdog to root for. By trolling Amazon in a light hearted way and offering deals on stuff shoppers actually wanted, eBay saw 70% more searches on eBay.com and over 6 Billion earned media impressions, as illustrated below.
- Searches on eBay were up more than 70%
- Exceeded sales forecasts for this critical period
Video for The Crash Sale
- 6B+ total earned media impressions
- 1,584 total stories (1,369 broadcast segments and 215 online stories)
- eBay’s Crash Sale was highlighted in nearly every business story about Amazon Prime Day
- 296% more earned media coverage compared to last year’s Prime Day program
- 1.3M+ total organic social impressions
- 10.9M reach, 610K video views and 27K clicks to site via social paid promotion
- Media Quotes
- “eBay comes out swinging at Amazon and its upcoming two-day sale.” - MarketWatch
- “You might actually be crossing your fingers that Amazon's servers buckle under the Prime Day pressure again.” -Engadet
- “eBay throws so much shade at Amazon in its new spot that the screen might go black." – AdAge
- “eBay continues to troll amazon and we bloody love it” -Gizmodo UK