Dimming the light of judgement: eBay’s new television campaign

A septuagenarian is lost in the looping play of a skipping rope, a young man in the rhythm of his ghungroos. A man on bended knee proposes with ring in hand to his boyfriend and a salwar kameez -clad lady rides off on a motorcycle with sheer nonchalance. The visuals in this television commercial, in a matter of 70 seconds, drives home one idea – that the shackles of social, caste, gender and more such stereotypes need to be deleted from the system.

In these times of frenzy and snap judgements, the new television commercial rolled out by eBay comes as a refreshing change. Coming after a gap of three years and in time for the festive (read shop-till-you-drop) season, the commercial runs on a singular phrase of highlight: Things Don’t Judge.

The tagline intrigued me. So I caught up with Jerry Williams, who heads branding for Ebay India and discussed the idea behind the new advertisement, at the eBay head office housed at Nirlon Knowledge Park.

With attitudes towards online shopping and virtual marketplaces changing steadily, why not go further to change the preconceived notions about who puts what into his or her e-cart?

Jerry Williams took me back to the eBay International marketing campaign of a few years ago, that gave e-shoppers the opportunity to literally find anything they wished to buy with Find Your Perfect… “The idea was to communicate that eBay houses a universe of products where one can find whatever one wishes to purchase, in whichever form or condition and as best suited to one’s budget,” says Williams.

The Things Don’t Judge campaign, conceptualised by BBDO India (the agency behind the Ariel Share the Load campaign) furthers the joy of an eBay shopper by offering a platform to not only get beyond inhibitions of online shopping but also more personal hindrances that closet ones purchase decisions as per social norms and dictats. “We were impressed by the effect of that campaign and sought to create similar awareness and changes via our Things Don’t Judge ad,” Williams states.

While released in major markets in India and in about six languages, the commercial doesn’t really need a language to get its point across. The visuals remain a powerful illustration to the strong tagline. As quick as we have been to pass judgement and stereotype people’s choices and ways of life, this new advertisement hopes to have us change our preconceived notions as quickly – with just one click.

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