eBay, the global online marketplace, is a pioneer of thoughtful commerce. It strives to encourage shopping choices that are better for people, their pockets, and the planet.
Within its fashion category, one of eBay’s core objectives is to inspire consumers to swap fast fashion for pre-loved. And what better way to disrupt the norm and spark a movement towards a more conscious way of shopping than by partnering with Love Island; breaking up the show’s long standing relationship with fast fashion brands, and influencing audiences to buy pre-loved, planet-friendly items instead.
DEPT® expertly promoted the partnership, generating 217 million impressions across social channels, 1,400% more searches for ‘pre-loved fashion’ on its site and a 24% increase in new circular businesses joining the marketplace compared to series 8. Here’s how.
Putting pre-loved fashion at the forefront of Gen Z
After successfully bringing eBay’s first Love Island campaign to life across digital and social channels for season 8, DEPT® was appointed lead creative agency for season 9; gaining the the ability to influence both ATL and digital channels.
We were responsible for developing a brand new strategy, fresh creative concept, art direction, and always-on approach that promoted eBay as the official pre-loved fashion partner of Love Island.
eBay is on a mission to debunk how people see second hand clothing as too niche or ‘used’, so our strategy was to shift focus to the fashion. We put pre-loved clothing at the heart of Love Island, showcasing the vast range of quality, on-trend, pre-loved items available on its platform; helping eBay to become an authority voice on circular fashion and normalizing pre-loved purchasing.
The benefits of this were two-fold: helping to build brand awareness for eBay while also driving growth of its fashion category.
Our campaign strategy was rooted in insight of the behaviors of viewers when watching the show. Love Island fans consume the show via a dual-screen experience, switching straight to social platforms during ad breaks and in between shows to debrief and watch creator content around the TV series.
We discovered that there were as many, if not more, people watching content on TikTok about the show than watching the live show itself.
To capitalize on this, we took to social media to find the people who’d risen to fame talking about the show and cast them as our ‘Stylanders’; a collective of influencers, creators and commentators who would sit at the heart of our through-the-line (TTL) activation, which ran across TV, VOD, social, digital, and the dedicated Love Island app.
Our Stylanders comprised Tasha Ghouri (eBay Ambassador and previous Love Island contestant), Sarel Madziya (@cocosarel), Jilly Cross (@jillyisabella) and Crispin Ngenda (@crispinion). The creators, who have a combined following of +1.5 million across TikTok and Instagram, were put front and centre of the campaign.
The Stylanders enabled us to make a connection between the big and small screen. This would make eBay and pre-loved fashion a significant part of the Love Island conversation in the most authentic and relevant way possible, building trust and credibility for the eBay brand.
To maximize the partnership, we needed to build a fast and agile content machine that would enable various partners to collaborate and create assets for dissemination across a myriad of channels. In the two days we had on set, we captured the idents, paid social assets and editorial content, all of which served as our creative bank around the season launch.
To avoid creative fatigue, we produced a suite of reactive asset templates. We were also at the villa to capture fresh content around how the Islanders were ‘coupling up with pre-loved’ after choosing items from the shared wardrobe stocked with eBay finds.
We took control of eBay’s socials to drive awareness through paid and organic channels, sharing and reacting to moments on behalf of the brand. And our community managers leaned into platform-specific trends, utilizing content from the show, our Stylanders, and other influencers to maximize engagement.
Our campaign concept, strategy and delivery cemented eBay and Love Island as a match made in heaven. The Stylanders accelerated results, with their posts seeing significantly higher reach and helping to engage audiences outside of eBay’s existing following.
This resulted in increased results across the board. We generated 217 million impressions – an 85% increase on the previous series, and 76,000 organic engagements – a huge 230% increase on season 8, despite the season 9 winter series drawing in a smaller viewership than the season 8 summer show.
Instagram was the best performing organic channel when it came to impressions, with assets that felt native to the app, like islander outfit carousels and Stylander reels, driving the strongest results. Our focus on reactively leaning into platform-specific trends is what also made TikTok the best performing channel in terms of engagement, with some TikTok content gaining +5x more views than Love Island averages.
Across paid activity, TikTok drove a significant 11.4% uplift in ad recall and +3.9% in brand association. Meta was key in driving traffic to the website and shifting buying intent, which increased +3.4pts, and Snapchat was a key platform for reaching Gen Z; with islander-centric content and our use of the show’s recognizable music generating 2.2 million impressions.
All of this supported a 1,400% increase in ‘pre-loved fashion’ searches on eBay’s site compared to season 8, as well as a 24% rise in new circular businesses joining the online marketplace; mirroring the move away from fast fashion that people were seeing on the big screen.
The campaign overall drove consideration amongst those aware of the eBay and Love Island partnership.
According to a Kantar study, 70% of online shoppers are likely to consider choosing eBay when buying pre-loved fashion, compared with only 58% of those not aware of the partnership. In addition, while only 25% of online shoppers unaware of the partnership are likely to buy pre-loved, 60% of those who were aware are more likely to do so.
Spark a movement to a more conscious way of shopping? Mission accomplished. The campaign was actually so successful that it led to eBay becoming the show’s main sponsor for season 10.
UK Managing Director