eBay mocks Amazon for being boring

Commentary: A new ad campaign from the online shopping site insists that beige boxes are dull while eBay is, um, exciting.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


This is the beeeeeeeeeeeigeness of Amazon. Allegedly.

eBay screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Please lie here on my chaise longue.

Now close your eyes and think of Amazon. 

What's the first color that comes into your mind? 

Yellow? Blue? As far as eBay is concerned, there's only one right answer: beige. Or, rather, "beeeeeeeeeeeige."

As AdAge reports, in a new ad campaign launching on Sunday during the NBA Finals, eBay insists that Amazon -- without actually naming its apparent rival -- is so very, very dull. 

Efficiency and excellence can seem a touch routine after a while. I confess that Amazon seems like one of the more reliable retail brands out there, mixing speed with surprisingly decent customer service. 

Here's the corollary, though, in eBay's world: eBay is exciting. Oh. The ad shows lots of beige boxes coming out of (what we assume is) Amazon's warehouse. Of course, the ad doesn't mention Amazon by name. Instead, it just says: "When did shopping get so beeeeeeeeeeeige?"

It contrasts this alleged beeeeeeeeeeeigeness with eBay, which is a world of bright greens and blues and pinks and people sitting on Jet Skis in their driveway and saying "Boom!"

People who shop on eBay are so infernally excitable that I'm amazed their neighbors get any sleep at all. But will Amazon lose sleep about being (less than subtly) characterized as boring? The company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

eBay's VP of global brand, Karl Isaac, explained to AdAge that this ad "is focused on buyers celebrating that sense of self-expression, but it's because of our sellers that we can offer the best choice."

"Shop like nobody else," the ad encourages, because on eBay you can apparently "fill your cart with color." Even if at least some things here you could just as easily get on Amazon.

Detail-oriented types might muse that eBay purchases still come in beige boxes. Ah, but apparently they're adorned with brightly colored stickers. 

Now, that's exciting.

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