eBay needed help reasserting itself as the authority in the sneaker sector. Despite its reputation as the OG marketplace of democratised selling and shopping, eBay faced increased eCommerce competition and flippers causing inflated prices that made sneakers unaffordable to normal people. eBay wanted to be seen as the better way to buy and sell sneakers.
With just four months from briefing to launch, the budget needed to cover activation, partnerships, paid media/ATL promotion, content/event production, and agency fees. Using an influencer-led 360-integrated campaign, spiked by experiential activations, we needed to achieve these campaign objectives:
- Increase eBay’s share of voice.
- Drive awareness: 138K reach
- Drive engagement rate by +5%
The target audience was:
- Sneaker Enthusiasts & Active Sneaker Buyers
- Leads and Prospects – sneaker fans who hadn’t shopped with eBay before
Combining social listening, insight tool GWI & a focus group of influential sneakerheads we discovered three key insights:
- Competitors gamified shopping with raffles and online-only sales, which bots infiltrated and caused prices to rise making sneakers unaffordable to most.
- Women’s sneaker sales are up 80% but females feel sidelined in the conversation.
- Live events are more important to 33% of consumers than pre pandemic, with 40% feeling more brand loyalty after attendance.
This inspired our strategy for a campaign spiked by live events. Called OG Drops (built in partnership with Weber Shandwick), we created eBay’s first IRL eBay Sneaker Store in the UK, selling iconic kicks at their original market release price – not their inflated retail price.
To highlight female sneakerheads are just sneakerheads, women fronted the campaign and events – Julie Adenuga and Yasmin Evans hosted the activations.
To achieve awareness, engagement and clicks to eBay's website, the campaign was built around influencers chosen via auditing frameworks/proprietary methodology/Woomio, ensuring they had solid KPI track records of audiences aligned to eBay’s typologies. Called The Collective, they fronted messaging on social, paid media & ATL ads with assets made by our studio. Our creative featuring The Collective was booked for OOH by MediaCom.
The Collective PR-ed digital OG Drops, the competition for tickets to the sneaker stores & what happened at the stores.
As the lead agency of this 360 campaign, we managed all partner relationships across owned, paid and organic to show by eBay as the brand that gives the sneaker market back to real fans. We deployed:
- The Collective: Always-on (paid media boosted) influencer content.
- On-site charity raffle: Experience lived online with charity raffle and digital OG Drops shop.
- Curated guestlist: Digital competition to find the UK’s most obsessive sneakerheads. They received invites to the IRL stores where they could shop OG Drops in-person and meet fellow sneakerheads.
- UK’s 1st IRL eBay Sneaker Store: Designed/built two pop-up stores as a place of communion for real sneakerheads to experience our client’s authority within the sector.
- Ownable platform: Circularity is a core pillar of eBay, so we created an activation with a second-life. For local market authenticity, we tweaked the stores to resonate with the nearby community to drive awareness:
- Morley’s is at the epicentre of London’s street art and fashion scene.
- A sneakerhead artist painted a QR-coded promotional mural.
- Round-table discussion led by female sneakerheads and OG Drops sneaker raffle in London.
- Manchester event focused on the bond of music and sneaker scenes, with live performances by IAMDDB, KSR and KinKai.
- 360 Assets: Our production team created social assets, paid ads, in-store VM design and OOH (which was booked by MediaCom). At the events, they captured content for owned and earned channels.
Seamless narrative and campaign authenticity combined to provide an innovative message that reasserted eBay’s market-leading status.
This campaign bought the sneaker community back together in-person and achieved huge success versus hard objectives:
- Drive awareness: Achieved 205K reach versus 138K objective – that’s 49% more than the goal.
- Clicks to eBay: Achieved 2.6K clicks versus 1K clicks objective – that’s +160 % more than the goal.
- Drive engagement: Achieved 16.5% Engagement Rate versus 5% objective and industry benchmark – that’s 105% versus both.
The campaign further exceeded everyone’s expectations with
- We increased eBay's share of voice
- 29.7K UGC on campaign content.
- Improved eBay’s sneaker conversion rate
- eBay’s UK sneakers received the highest percentage increase in market operating price globally.
- Drew attention from press (including Hypebeast, Business Insider and Metro) with coverage that delivered equivalent of 16.7M reach based on readership.
- Entrances to digital OG Drops raffle raised £13K for charity.
The IRL Sneaker Store was so successful it unlocked another brief – to design and build a stand at Sneaker Con, the most prestigious community event in Europe.
Video for eBay: Winning Back Sneakerheads with an Influencer-Led 360 Campaign