From 28-30 October 2022, London played host to the winter edition of MCM Comic Con; the world’s leading convention for superfans of comics, TV, movies and other forms of mainstream art, fiction and pop culture.
eBay, the multinational e-commerce company, turned to DEPT® to engage this niche audience with a unique, immersive AR experience that would make the brand synonymous with collectability.
After launching the dedicated eBay Collectors social account earlier in the year, eBay turned to DEPT® to create an experiential moment that brought it to life.
Collectables customers are a vibrant community of enthusiasts, but after identifying trading card games (TCG) as one of the most popular divisions of collectable culture, we selected MCM Comic Con as the perfect place to engage this community. The aim was to get Comic Con and TCG fans to see eBay as the destination to acquire rare and unique collectable cards.
TCG is a passion of many people who attend comic conventions, but the problem with trading cards is they’re always of existing characters. We turned this into an opportunity with the TCG ME concept, bringing together the essence of eBay’s business (‘trading’) and MCM Comic Con’s roots (comic characters) to appeal to fans past and present, creating content that is not only fun, but wanted.
Recognising the proliferation of immersive technology and the many opportunities it presents to brands, we were keen to develop an experience that combined both the physical and digital worlds.
The TCG ME booth at MCM Comic Con enabled eBay to offer attendees the chance to be the stars of their own story and immortalise themselves as AR-generated avatars within a personalised, collectable and digitally-shareable trading card.
After posing for a photo at one of the booth’s interactive AR photo booths, participants were able to customise their cards by inputting their name and selecting one of nine titles (the Slayer, the Magnificent, the Trainer, the Sensei, the Trickster, the Answer, the Wanderer, the Messenger, the Treacherous) as well as choose their powers and card design styles; MMORPG, Futuristic, Anime, Superhero Retro, or Classic Adventure. The style designs were made with DALL-E.
The technology then combined the user’s image and inputted selections to create a bespoke and personalised trading card that the user could preview through the AR filter on-screen, which was then printed, placed in a sleeve to be worn on the MCM Comic Con lanyard and taken home as a physical, personal collectable.
Each card was stamped with a unique serial number, ensuring users could guarantee its authenticity and driving home the collectability message.
Every participant also received a digital version of their card via email, which could be shared across social channels with the hashtag #ebaycomiccon22, generating even more awareness and engagement for eBay.
50% of eBay’s stand at Comic Con was dedicated to the AR-fuelled TCG ME experience, which was available throughout the entire weekend and free for all attendees to participate.
In addition to shaping the creative concept and delivering the immersive experience itself (in collaboration with external tech supplier Noonah), DEPT® was responsible for generating hype through art direction for the entire campaign and eBay’s MCM Comic Con presence, as well as an OOH strategy; ensuring the concept was not only engaging on the event floor, but transcended across digital and offline channels.
To build anticipation and combine both the physical and digital mediums, DEPT® created an AR lens that allowed consumers who may not have attended MCM Comic Con to create their own virtual trading card.
With randomly generated designs, powers and titles, fans that didn’t attend could still feel part of the experience by generating their own custom digital card on Snapchat.
DEPT® took this engaging concept and transcended that into an OOH strategy. To grab the attention of attendees and drive people towards the eBay stand, we took over placements all around Custom House overground station, the nearest TFL stop to the Excel centre where the convention took place.
The ads encouraged users to uncover their power and get their TCG card at the eBay stand. The OOH displays also featured a snap code with a CTA encouraging users to go to the eBay stand.
The activation generated incredible results over a brief two week period, including:
- 15,000 on-stand users at MCM Comic Con
- 17 million total impressions on Snapchat
- 6.1 million impressions via the Snapchat lens
- +216,000 shares (3.54% share rate)
- Average camera play time of just over 23 seconds
Managing Director, Marketing Technology UK
The Bartlett School of Architecture