In the 1990s, eBay was a pioneer of ecommerce that empowered anyone with an internet connection to buy and sell goods online. By 2017, ecommerce has become a fact of life, and the new generation of "GenZennials"—a diverse group of Millennials and Gen Z young adults—needed to be reminded of the good that comes from buying and selling on eBay. Given its massive buying power, this generation is crucial to eBay's future. Our goal was to raise awareness, enhance perceptions and reconnect eBay as the forward-thinking ecommerce platform for US and UK GenZennials.
Generations that grew up on handheld technology maintain a youthful optimism and civic responsibility amidst uncertain times and look for companies that share their values. eBay is a company founded on purpose: good people connecting, transacting and having a positive impact through better commerce. This provides a powerful connection with our target audience: Real people make a real difference. On eBay, ordinary people make an extraordinary difference on the economy, in their communities and on the lives of other people.
Our research showed that GenZennials view their purchasing habits as extensions of their moral compass. They strive to do the right thing and want to support companies aligned with good causes, civic action and responsible business practices. eBay's Global Impact program was designed to create content reflective of those values.
To elevate eBay in the "woke" GenZennial mindset, we couldn't rely on traditional corporate messaging—we needed to authentically demonstrate how eBay makes a difference. We leaned into eBay's corporate social responsibility (CSR) pillars—Opportunity for All, Circular Economy and eBay for Charity—as competitive differentiators in the ecommerce marketplace. We identified eBay sellers who embody those pillars to tackle social injustices and dubbed these passionate ecommerce leaders as "Everyday Heroes."
Using authentic, first-hand storytelling, we brought the brand to life through our Everyday Heroes' experiences showing there's always an impacted person at the other end of an eBay transaction. And many of them are changing the world for good with person-to-person impact in the digital world.
To capture these stories, we filmed ~1:30 videos that showcased our empowered "Everyday Heroes." Each video was then distributed across eBay Global Impact's paid and owned channels including Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. We also provided direction on the types of Global Impact content eBay should post on its "Everyday Heroes" landing page.
In our compelling content series, we gave a voice not only to socially responsible sellers and business owners, but showed their impact on recipients, too; marginalized people whose lives were made better by an eBay seller or business. Our stories covered socially relevant topics that highlighted passionate change makers in the eBay community, including:
Supporting Addiction Recovery: Cori O'Steen lives in a community ravaged by opioid abuse and it hits close to home—her daughter is an addict. But Cori remains strong and helps fight the battle on numerous fronts: she donates proceeds from her eBay sales toward free, long-term care for recovering addicts and she offers jobs in her warehouse to recently sober adults, such as Jeff Decatur.
Feeding the Hungry: Laurie Wong's rural town has a significant percentage of people living under the poverty line and hunger is rampant. Each weekend, Laurie turns her thrift store into a food pantry to serve her community. Food, boxes, utilities, and transportation are funded in part by proceeds from Laurie's eBay store.
Closing the Technology Gap: Chris Ko knows that technology creates opportunity, and those without access are falling further behind the digital divide. Chris refurbishes commercial-grade technology and donates or sells at a reduced cost to schools to give students the tools they need to succeed in a modern economy. His efforts helped launch an impactful STEM program at a local charter school. None of this would be possible without proceeds from Chris's refurbished technology store on eBay.
Strategic paid media buys across GenZennials' favorite social platforms—Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube—contributed toward 2.4 Million (and growing) video views. We also leveraged eBay's owned social media channels that contributed 78.7K+ organic (and growing) video views. We provided copy variations to test performance and improve upon each video promotion. Landing page visits exceeded 27K+ visitors, where GenZennials watched more "Everyday Heroes" stories and learned more about eBay Global Impact's mission.
As a result, we were able to measure significant positive change among our US and UK target markets after exposure to our eBay Global Impact content, directly aligned with our project goals:
Further, after seeing the eBay Global Impact videos, young Americans are more likely to:
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