eBay’s Small Business Surprises with Jack Whitehall

eBay challenged us to shine a light on its community of small businesses in the most light-hearted, entertaining way possible. Using talent meant that this had to be a fully integrated campaign where we would collaborate with not just the client, our in-house creatives and the talent’s team – but also work strategically with eBay’s PR and paid social agencies to make sure everything we produced would be seen by as many people as possible.

Comedian and TV personality Jack Whitehall is most recently known for his television show documenting his worldly travels with father Michael. Something that when lockdown hit – was put firmly on pause. This is exactly where we saw our content opportunity. Unable to experience the world – and all its incredible souvenirs – we decided that with the help of eBay Small Businesses, Jack would bring the world to Michael’s home instead.


This activation from eBay followed our successful first Small Business campaign featuring singer Lewis Capaldi. We needed to build on the success and learnings from the previous campaign – but with an idea that felt completely fresh and aligned with the Whitehall’s alike.

First and foremost, this was an awareness campaign. So the content’s reach, views, impressions and engagement rate was all-important. Our client’s secondary priority was click-through to the site or app. For this reason we also measured our content’s swipe ups and clicks – and for a fully joined-up user experience would work with eBay’s on-site team to create a shoppable edit curated by Jack that featured all the key small businesses and products from the campaign content.

Finally, we wanted to create the very best assets for paid social possible – including a TikTok TopView advert – meaning the content produced needed to be snappy and funny, to work for that format and audience.


The more aligned talent is with the brand, the more authentic the narrative connection. It was Jack & Michael Whitehall’s strong archetypal alignment to the small business (SMB) campaign messaging that would drive its success.

The hero creative – which lived across YouTube (paid and organic), TikTok (paid, TopView) & shorter edits on Instagram & Facebook (paid & organic) – took its editorial cues from the pair’s successful TV show Travels with my Father. It showed the father and son video calling as Michael opened parcel after parcel of gifts Jack sourced from eBay’s small independent businesses. A funny, believable moment between father and son using the now familiar format of family Zoom calls to let our audiences know the breadth of products, sellers and convenience that lies at their fingertips. Without feeling sold to or advertised to.

This relatability was key to ensuring our organic content was as engaging as possible as people really interacted with it – driving a KPI-smashing engagement rate of 12% – well above the industry average too.

A truly integrated campaign, we also worked with Jack’s team to write the script, execute the full production, source the products, create engaging edits for talent socials in post production, work with eBay’s paid social agency, Vidsy, to ensure they got the raw files needed for paid social cuts, as well as work with Weber Shandwick, the PR agency to ensure they had access to the talent and could get media coverage – more on that later.


Our campaign over-performed against every one of its KPIs. It was Jack and Michael’s authentic relationship and alignment to the brand’s messaging and values that showed our organic content to be both engaging and cost effective.

Talent Social Key Insights:

● 1.28M impressions
● 904K reach
● 571K video & story views
● 5.5K swipe ups/link clicks
● 12% engagement rate
● £0.09 CPE

We worked with Weber Shandwick to amplify the activity with national, regional and digital press coverage. Overall, the PR team secured six key pieces of coverage with a total campaign reach of 21.1M . Coverage for our campaign featured in The Metro, The Daily Telegraph, and a broadcast segment on Channel 4’s Steph’s Packed Lunch – which boasts a viewership of 277k.

Finally, we saw huge success with the paid social activity. Vidsy created paid social edits from our footage across both TikTok and YouTube. TikTok Topview delivered 25M impressions – with an increase of 10K followers for eBay in just one day. While on YouTube Masthead, we saw 55.2M impressions, a 0.78% CTR with 23% of the UK population reached.

Across Facebook and Instagram, we also garnered the following paid social results:
● 6.6 million Thruplays
● 24 million impressions
● 8.4 million people reached
● 110k link clicks

Watch the full video with Jack and Michael Whitehall below:

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