Do It eBay
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Do It eBay

Kaplow Communications developed and executed a nationwide “influencer” program that extended the reach of the “Do It eBay” advertising campaign and built buzz for the brand. Specifically, Kaplow hosted a series of trendy “Do It eBay” holiday parties with influencers in top cities around the country.

Paul Holmes

Kaplow Communications developed and executed a nationwide “influencer” program that extended the reach of the “Do It eBay” advertising campaign and built buzz for the brand. Specifically, Kaplow hosted a series of trendy “Do It eBay” holiday parties with influencers in top cities around the country. During a six-week period—with the help of notables ranging from singer Michelle Branch and actresses Jennifer Tilly to CBS Evening News correspondent Jane Clayson and Glamour editor Kim Gieske—the Kaplow campaign generated more than 10 million media impressions and directly reached more than 175 influencers. 
 Although nearly everyone has heard of eBay, many consumers still don’t understand what it’s all about. “Newbies” are interested, and many have browsed the site, but they haven’t overcome the emotional hurdles of registering and becoming active users. Common misconceptions exist (i.e., all merchandise is used, all transactions are auction-only, the site is exclusively geared to collectors), and trust and safety issues continue to be major barriers to consumer activation.
 Kaplow’s primary objective was to help launch the “Do It eBay” advertising campaign and create a groundswell of buzz for the brand.
 Influencers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco were identified and recruited to host or participate in “Do It eBay” parties, where participants would learn to navigate eBay and find merchandise in key categories. Well-known media, entertainment and business leaders were identified and included among the guests to help stoke media interest.
 During the six-week “party” campaign, eBay’s brand campaign goals were kept in focus: register new users and activate dormant users, increase acceptance of eBay as a better way to buy and sell, celebrate the uniqueness of the eBay marketplace and give consumers a better understanding of “who” eBay is and “what” eBay is all about.
 The idea of “eBay parties” trickled up from eBay’s community of registered users. Kaplow recognized the strength of the idea and transformed it into a powerful influencer campaign that targeted “connectors”—people who fuel the buzz within their social circles. By introducing influencers directly to eBay, the parties created a network of evangelists who spread word about eBay, their experiences and their purchases. As the concept began to take hold, Kaplow began to pitch the parties as a burgeoning trend. The media began covering the parties, and the concept trickled back down to another key social circle—eBay’s community of registered users.
 Kaplow hosted extravagant “Do It eBay” holiday cocktail parties in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Guests from media, fashion, entertainment and business learned how to “do it eBay.” Every detail served to celebrate the eBay experience. Guests were given a $100 gift certificate to shop on eBay and received one-on-one assistance from personal shoppers who helped guests navigate the site and identify great buys. These parties, designed to help newbies overcome barriers to purchasing on eBay, created a powerful word-of-mouth network that spread the news: the fabulous parties, the positive experience of shopping eBay and the extraordinary values available throughout the site.
 The Kaplow team positioned the “Do It eBay” parties as a new phenomenon—the “next big thing” in-home shopping—to reporters around the country. Additionally, they publicized parties happening within the eBay community to support larger national trend stories and secure additional coverage in regional media outlets.
 Fueling the trend on a local level, the Kaplow team booked television and radio segments for eBay’s “education ambassador” in each “party” city.
 A pre-packaged news story (video news release)—offering a behind-the-scenes look at eBay parties and what happens when people “do” eBay together—was created to extend the media reach to broadcast outlets across the country. The story examined how online shopping has become something that people do together and featured sound bites from the “eBabes,” a user group based in Atlanta.
 “Do It eBay” parties succeeded in demystifying shopping on eBay by showing individuals how to “do it” in a fun, social setting and used media to disseminate this message to millions of shoppers across the United States.
 During a six-week period, the Kaplow campaign generated more than 10 million media impressions and directly reached more than 175 influencers. 
 Besides the guests cited above, notables who began “doing it eBay” include Actress Holly Robinson Peete, Comedian Kim Coles, Entrepreneur Samantha Daniels, Hollywood Stylist Phillip Bloch, WGN-TV (Chicago) News Anchor Larry Potash, Model Liya Kabede and Imitation of Christ Designer Danny Seo.
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