Immortalising experiences with AR at MCM Comic Con

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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.

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Connecting collectors

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. 

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Immortalising experiences

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. 

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Driving demand

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. 

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Astronomical results

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

Ali Mcclintock


Helping eBay start a conversation with the world

From Sydney to San Francisco, FEED/DEPT® partners with eBay to conceive, create, and deliver transformational digital campaigns at scale. Throughout eBay’s extensive online presence in Europe, North America, and Australia, we work across every digital touchpoint.

Our bespoke automation technology means that eBay can keep up with the ever-changing retail marketplace landscape, engaging customers onsite, through CRM, and on social channels at rapid speeds.

Engaging audiences worldwide

With over 170 million global customers daily, eBay needed an agency that could keep the conversation going 24/7 in seven different languages. They tasked us with creating a leading customer experience, executing ideas, concepts and designs that would engage their audiences worldwide. eBay wanted campaigns that were consistently relevant to each of their users, from seasoned sellers, to new buyers, to lapsed customers. And, they wanted to connect on an emotional level across multiple channels.

Not all customers are the same

In order to take eBay’s comprehensive conversation to the next level, we gained a deep understanding of the different customer journey paths that their platform provides. Through communications that speak directly to specific customer types like regular buyers, sporadic sellers, passionate collectors, or alternate makers, eBay could forge an intimate connection with each of them. 

This meant they needed to generate personalised content and relevant experiences with their customer segments in mind, approaching them with seamless, responsive communication to drive revenue, retention, and brand loyalty.

Hyper-personalised content

Our DEPT®/Creative Automation tools allow us to create multiple cross-channel communications to various eBay audiences. At the click of a button, we can generate thousands of creative variations from just a few inputs. Automated asset production allows us to tailor messaging to each individual customer segment, and iterate on the messaging quickly based on performance data. Our tools make it easy to adjust copy and design, so that we are always producing hyper-personalised content that truly resonates with eBay customers around the world and at every stage of the user journey.

Hundreds of campaigns monthly

By streamlining the creative process with technology, we create over 200 monthly campaigns in multiple languages for eBay. We are able to convey their unique brand voice and articulate their values consistently to millions across global regions. Through personalisation at scale, we talk to the specific needs of every customer and build meaningful relationships between eBay and their users that drive significant engagement and amplify conversion. Our approach ensures that eBay remains a household name that informs, inspires, and moves at the speed of retail.


Managing Director – Canada at FEED/DEPT®

Adam Jewson

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