Emotional ad targeting: eBay debuts ‘mood marketing’ tool


eBay Advertising has launched a new that will transform targeting on the site, allowing brands to identify shoppers who are in a specific mood and serve them the most relevant ads.


Mood Marketing lets brands identify and target shoppers who are in a certain mindset at a given time on the site, rather than relying on demographics or broad-brush external factors such as weather or time of year.

As an addition to eBay Advertising’s Advanced Targeting solutions, the “Mood Marketing” tool is part of the publisher’s commitment to enabling advertisers to reach consumers based on what they actually want to buy in a given moment, in this case by using anonymised behavioural data to identify shoppers who are in a particular mood.

The introduction of Mood Marketing follows a pilot with Laithwaite’s Wine, the UK’s largest home-delivery wine merchant, who served ads for some of their summer themed product lines to shoppers whose behaviour on the site indicated they were in a “summery” mindset.

Rob Bassett, Head of UK and EU Multinational Advertising at eBay, commented: “We want to change the way that retailers think about engaging with shoppers online and help them to see that the most effective campaigns aren’t about selling, but about helping people to buy.”

“Our scope of inventory means we can understand what a shopper is interested in at a given time, across a huge number of categories, and therefore pinpoint what mood they are in. It’s perfectly possible, for example, for a consumer to be planning festive activities, such as parties, on a Monday morning but many brands will be weighting ad spend to the end of the week. At this point, shoppers may have already purchased their party items, and brands will have missed a valuable opportunity to tap into their mindset. Worse still, they risk being perceived as irrelevant.”

John Buffey, Head of e-Commerce at Laithwaite’s Wine, said: “We have a diverse customer base, who are shopping at different times, in different ways and for different reasons. Rather than just targeting them at certain points in the week or in specific weather conditions, we wanted to complement the mood they are already in, and offer them ads that improved their shopping experience. This pilot has definitely made marketing by mood a priority for us in future campaigns.”

eBay Advertising’s Mood Marketing tool will also be used to refine brand perception. Marketers that wish to create associations with specific moods or mindsets will be able to use it to serve brand building ads to consumers who are in the mood they’re targeting.

Bassett continued: “We may have started with summer mindsets, but the Mood Marketing concept can be applied to many themes: from buying a home to purchasing Christmas decorations. We believe it represents a real step forward in making ads more relevant, inspiring and useful to shoppers, and that it will take the guesswork out of planning campaigns.”

eBay welcomed Laithwaite’s Wine to the marketplace in August this year, and a wide selection of red, white, rose and sparkling wines are now available to buy on the UK site.

eBay has started with summer, but the Mood Marketing tool can be applied to a huge range of moods (party planning is just one example). Essentially, it’s about targeting shoppers based on what they’re actually interested in at a given time, rather than what they’re expected to be interested in.

The product is available to marketers and agencies on request from today, and interested parties are encouraged to contact Rob Bassett on rbassett@ebay.com for more information.

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