'Come to think of it, eBay'--killer ad motto or desperate plea?

Auction site kicks off a new ad campaign before the holiday-shopping season shifts into high gear.

Kara Swisher
2 min read

BoomTown--fresh from slapping around sixth-graders caught in a Bing-stupor and restaurant-seeking vampires from Microsoft--is not quite sure what to think of another new advertising campaign from an Internet giant.

This time, it is coming from eBay.

With the tagline, "Come to think of it, eBay," the ads start Monday, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, to "boost its standing as a holiday shopping destination."

Interestingly, the new marketing campaign in print, television, and online--the first for the Web commerce giant in 18 months--has been crafted by San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, which has also just nabbed the lead role in the $100 million advertising campaign by Yahoo.

A previous eBay ad campaign. Screenshot by The Wall Street Journal

Goodby, owned by the Omnicom Group, is known for its innovative ideas and has done such memorable campaigns as the Slowsky turtles for Comcast, the weird folk of Emerald Nuts, owned by Diamond Foods, as well as campaigns for tech companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Adobe Systems, and Netflix.

Still, Goodby might be getting a little too cute here, because "come to think of it" could remind consumers exactly how much they have forgotten about eBay.

At best, "come to think of it" is a double-edged sword.

In a good scenario: "Come to think of it, I really haven't listened to my 'Frampton Comes Alive' album in forever and I really want to hear it again."

In a bad scenario: "An old girlfriend of mine is trying to friend me on Facebook--but, come to think of it, she was pretty freaky and I am very scared she found me again."

You get the idea! Come to think of it: play at home!

Actually, according to the Journal story, Lorrie Norrington, president of eBay's marketplace operations, is pushing a different meaning of the phrase, "to shift the buyer perception of what eBay is today."

It has to since San Jose, Calif.-based eBay has seen its core marketplace business suffer, even as it has advertised less.

Here's a video of one of the new ads.

For more videos, see the original story.