For its part, EBay is pursuing a less conventional strategy. In recent tears, the brand has been more aggressive with rivals, particularly with Amazon around Prime Day, when eBay rolled out a snarky spot that took aim at its Seattle-based competitor. This week, eBay promised consumers it will not run any holiday promotions, ads or until November as part of its “Chill This Holiday” campaign.
It also created a video (not an ad?) to hammer the promise home. In the 60-second spot, produced by eBay and Edelman, a mother and daughter enjoying ice cream have their day darkened—literally—by the early holiday sales. As “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” plays, the video speeds up to demonstrate the rapid pace of the Christmas season. “Outsmart holiday creep. Get deals every day. Not just the holidays,” a series of ending cards recommend.
In a blog post, eBay wrote, “Because eBay sellers offer great deals every day, not just holiday discounts, you can find exactly what you want, whenever you want it.”
Of course, any spots relating to the holidays still qualify as marketing, promotions or no promotions. In recent years, ads from brands like Kmart and Crate and Barrel have run earlier and earlier. The strategy, while hard for consumers still sunburnt from summer to stomach, could have legs. In October of 2018, 63 percent of shoppers were “deal hunting” for early deals, according to a recent Eye on: Retail report from Eyeota, an audience technology platform.
But in 2016, most brands delayed their holiday pushes until after the Nov. 8 election; they didn’t want to lose valuable marketing dollars to Trump and Clinton. So maybe there’s hope for 2020.