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Special Project

Special Project
From the 8th Annual Shorty Awards

eBay Social Incubator

Finalist in Retail & E-Commerce


In the effort to identify new audiences and convert those individuals into eBay consumers, eBay, in partnership with Deep Focus and Moment Studio, took an aggressive approach to identifying and launching a presence on a wide variety and volume of both proven and emerging social channels. The objective across channels was to identify and drive new sources of traffic to by engaging the millennial audience with compelling content.

Strategy and Execution

Instead of identifying emerging channels, waiting to see how they perform for other brands, and testing platforms once success was guaranteed, eBay, Deep Focus and Moment Studio built a "social incubator" engine, which allowed the brand to test and learn in real-time across a large number of channels.

Within 6 months, eBay implemented a test and learn process for 14 total platforms, launching on 8 new channels including StumbleUpon, We Heart It, Reddit, Snapchat, Periscope, Vine, Imgur and Flipboard. During this period, the brand executed seven end-to-end campaigns exploring paid, earned and owned media models and developed and published more than 2,500 pieces of content. The content ranged from interpersonal, 1-to-1 custom content on twitter to high-end online commercials, videos and mini-documentaries. The brand also tested the development and launch of various new content types across channels, such as Boomerang and Cinemagraphs, as well as formats new to eBay, such as their first GIFs and their first for-social long-form video.

In order to ensure success and positive engagement, each piece of content was customized for each new channel, optimizing voice, tone, style, sensibility, format, and most of all, audience demand. The merge of the Moment studio creative & hybrid production model with the Deep Focus agency expertise made it possible to deliver high-end, high-quality creative at scale with content that was deeply effective, leading to benchmarks and sector outperformance.

Additional noteworthy eBay channel wins include launching as the first successful brand on Imgur, the first e-commerce brand to launch on We Heart it, and the first brand to run a CPC campaign model on Reddit, a product developed exclusively with and for eBay.


During the 6-month social incubator program, we experienced several wins:

1.The eBay content posted on emerging channels generated over 535MM total impressions and eBay published sessions (verified and tagged traffic to site) attributed to this program were 4.8x higher than the prior year period.

2.eBay content on StumbleUpon performed well above the channel benchmarks in terms of approval score and average time on site.

3.On We Heart It, the eBay campaign Heart Rate of 13% far exceeded the platform benchmark. Furthermore, of all sessions to the eBay site from the We Heart It platform, 98% were generated from eBay published content. This demonstrates how well eBay content resonates with the We Heart It audience. The brand also experienced double-digit growth since inception and was among only 3 brands to beta test the platform's "action" button release.

4.As the first retail brand on Imgur, eBay performance has set the standard for industry benchmarks on the platform. The content received an overwhelmingly positive response from the community with an average upvote rate of 77.43% ranging as high as 92.53%. Each post had an average CTR of 1.43%, reaching and as high as 7.79%, and an average engagement rate of 2.4%, reaching as high as 10.53%. eBay was also the first brand to participate in the Imgur Secret Santa campaign.

5.On YouTube, eBay's Wish Bigger holiday campaign film, developed within the social incubator program, is now in top 10 most-watched eBay videos ever produced.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Moment Studio, Deep Focus, eBay


Entry Credits