By Stanley Bing
November 3, 2009

Reaction is mixed to the big new eBay advertising campaign, “Come to think of it — eBay.” Of course, reaction to anything is mixed these days. Anybody who does anything worth noting is stuck like a shish kebab by somebody who’s got a bone to pick with something or another.

Personally, I think it’s kinda good that eBay is going to gear up a huge ad campaign at all. It’s the first in 18 months for them, and signals further improvements for the environment.  On the other hand, you want brick-and-mortar stores to do well this holiday season. The more successful eBay is at marketing itself as a place you buy new stuff, the less shopping there may be at the Nordstroms, Wal-Marts and dollar discount stores this Xmas. So there’s that.

Then there’s the slogan itself. “Come to think of it — eBay.” Personally, I find myself wondering about it a little bit. Sure, it’s positive. It says, “Hey, I was trying to think of a place to go shopping. I should have thought of eBay first because you can pretty much find anything you want there.” It’s not altogether dissimilar to the famous, “Wow! I shoulda had a V-8!” campaign that sold millions of confused drinkers on the weird, salty, vegetable beverage that has always been slightly less than top of mind for thirsty consumers. As a slogan, it’s catchy. It makes you think a bit. Maybe too much?

Ah, there’s the rub. Does it make you think TOO much? As in, “I guess I haven’t thought about eBay because it’s pretty much the last place I’d go for holiday shopping,” or “Yeah, I’ll go on eBay right after I’ve tried everything else”? The truth is, I don’t know. I shop on eBay a lot. I think it’s reliable and fun. I’ve bought cameras, rugs, guitars, and other random stuff on it. I go back all the time. So maybe I’m not the right audience for a “come to think of it” strategy. I tend to like slogans that say, “You GOTTA love this!” as opposed to crafty end runs that try to embed themselves in one wrinkle of my gray matter.

I’m a sucker for slogans, of course, as I’m sure are you. Others that have remained with me over the years include:

  • Take a puff — it’s springtime
  • I’d rather fight than switch
  • You can be sure — if it’s Westinghouse
  • I want my MAYPO!
  • Have you driven a Ford lately?
  • I’m a Pepper
  • Let Hertz put YOU in the driver’s seat
  • Goodyear: Where the rubber meets the road
  • Campbell’s Soup! It’s mmm-mmmm good!
  • Beef: It’s what’s for dinner
  • Alka-Seltzer: No matter what shape your stomach is in
  • Pork: The other white meat
  • Be all that you can be
  • My doctor said Mylanta

We’ll see how this new one works out. I’ll just stash it in my vast vault of fatuous slogans and jingles and see if it stay in there, like the Buster Brown shoe jingle, or vaporizes like so many others have over the years.

What do you think? Will “Come to think of it — eBay” drive you like a hot, dry lemming to the ocean of objects on sale at that worthy destination? Come to think of it, time will tell.

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