Inspiring audiences through real stories

With an inventory of millions – far larger than any competitor – and upwards of 20 million active users, eBay is a leader in the car parts and accessories (P&A) market.

But not a brand to rest on its laurels, eBay wanted to defend its market share and turned to DEPT® to engage its vast audience through a single 360-degree through-the-line campaign.

It was its biggest of 2023 nonetheless, achieving a 4ppt increase in category awareness, a 3ppt increase in perception scores, and a 2ppt increase in market share.

ebay parts and accessories

Despite its extensive inventory, eBay wasn’t top of mind among its community. Customers eventually came to eBay after failing to find what they were looking for with competitors.

Our campaign aimed to hero eBay’s unrivalled inventory and the value it offers, convincing audiences to choose eBay first.

Appeal to beginner DIYers and passionate pros

With goals to build brand awareness for eBay as well as drive the growth of the P&A category, we needed to develop a campaign concept that had the scale and flexibility to span all stages of the funnel, from hero TV ads and OOH right through to performance channels, onsite, and email marketing.
It also needed to effectively engage a broad audience of people with unique levels of interest, skills, and experience.

To appeal to the masses while tapping into the needs of different audience groups, we approached this campaign differently, with a rallying cry to bring communities together.

We needed to build from the ground up. Just like our audience.

Built different

We developed one central idea, ‘You’re Built Different’, celebrating the range of eBayers from amateur DIYers to passionate tinkerers who all use the platform to build, repair, and upcycle the vehicles they love; inspiring motor enthusiasts to do more for themselves by showing the results of the moment it all just… clicks.

Following a group of people who see potential in a hunk of metal, turn waste into wonder, and breathe life into the unloved and wonky, ‘You’re Built Different’ allowed us to disrupt a vertical dominated by very functional marketing with an emotive and authentic campaign.

Leveraging real audience data, we developed six bespoke personas that truly represented who the campaign needed to speak to. Through this, we identified the one thing that unified our audience despite their varying needs: their tenacity to take things into their own hands.

Off the back of these customer profiles, we wrote (and cast against) six real stories, each delivering a consistent and broad-reaching through-the-line message to our audience. These six stories became our campaign’s overarching thought and building blocks.

By centralizing the campaign around this one big idea, we could work efficiently on set, shooting the hero ads alongside capturing platform-first content, all with a consistent vision and art direction.

Our stand-alone 15-second ads focused on a specific persona, each driven by their motivation to do it for themselves. These individual stories were then woven together, creating a single narrative that unified every person – ‘You’re Built Different’.

The modular approach we took allowed us to flex the narrative from 6-second to 30-second placements across digital, social, AV, VOD, cinema, and even 37 bespoke idents for three different channels (including eBay sponsoring the Channel 4 show Bangers: Mad For Cars) while highlighting consumer truths that enabled eBay to resonate with a broad audience.

Scalable branding

To achieve our aim of boosting brand awareness with such a far-reaching campaign (and help combat misattribution) we needed to ensure consistency everywhere we showed up.

We developed a digital campaign toolkit containing every element of our new art direction and how it could flex up and down the funnel, making it fit for any placement.

The toolkit guaranteed consistency, helping to build trust with both enthusiasts and emerging hobbyists at the top of the funnel while communicating eBay’s unique product offering and driving action in the lower funnel.

The design language conveyed eBay’s core P&A proposition in a vibrant way, utilizing the iconic four-color branded elements in a more functional and traditional marketing landscape.

Paired with the campaign’s charming tone of voice, the consistent application of our art direction delivered a memorable brand message, achieving above benchmark scores for ‘ease of brand ID’ and ‘brand prominence’ in consumer tests.

Accelerating engagement

The emotional resonance of ‘You’re Built Different’ allowed eBay to appear authentically at major automotive events for both brands and consumers, including the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the British Motor Show.

Creators and automotive experts joined Ortis Deley on the eBay Garage Live stage to discuss their own upcycling journeys, what they love about taking fixing into their own hands, and how eBay is perfectly placed for all levels of vehicle restoration. 

Our brand toolkit was leveraged within eBay’s stand presence at each of these events, creating a connection between them and the wider campaign, as well as putting motoring fans at the heart of the action. We produced bespoke assets for stages, providing a consistent backdrop to all talks, and captured all aspects of the events via an on-the-ground content team.

Driving results

In total, we created more than 600 assets from one campaign concept. And, across the board, the campaign has surpassed all our brand build objectives, including a 4ppt increase in category awareness, a 3ppt increase in perception scores across range, trust and sustainability, and a 2ppt increase in market share across the category. 

Driving these overarching results, the effectiveness of the campaign led to a 3.8pt uplift in awareness, a 3.7pt rise in associations, and a 1.4pt increase in motivations. 

By shining a light on those who transform broken into new with a little help from eBay, we helped establish the marketplace as the destination where enthusiasm is fuelled and rewarded, whether your passion is fixing cars, building classic motorcycles, or just looking for that hard-to-find socket set.


SVP of Growth & Head of UKI

Ali Mcclintock

Discover more

Next Case