From the red-carpet to the shopping basket, eBay‘s tips to capitalise on breaking trends on screen


With showbiz awards season upon us and a jam-packed TV guide, eBay Advertising‘s Phuong Nguyen discusses the opportunities for brands to engage consumers as they look to celebrities for shopping inspiration.

In a multi-screen shopping environment, retail brands are perfectly placed to reach shoppers with the latest celebrity-inspired items. Red-carpet awards like The Oscars and The Brits, as well as popular TV programmes such as The Voice draw large audiences, and many viewers will be “dual screening,” watching prime-time television on one screen while browsing on a device from the comfort of their couch. Nimble marketers can gain competitive advantage if they pay attention to what their customers are tuning into.

To make the most of this, there a few things that marketers need to do:

Focus on qualified leads

Observed insight about what and when people buy is the most important thing in a marketer‘s toolbox when it comes to reaching the dual-screening shopper. By observing when people browsed for certain items, brands can deduce a lot about where they seek their inspiration. For example, if a shopper browsed for a “black jumpsuit” similar to that worn by Cheryl Fernandez-Versini on X-Factor it is likely they will also watch The Voice and be interested in the talent show judge Rita Ora‘s latest look.

Look beyond the big events

Consumers don‘t just seek purchasing inspiration from big-ticket events; popular programmes such as Broadchurch play their part in “the TV effect” with searches for properties in its Dorset location increasing three fold on property site Rightmove in the fortnight following the return of the series this January. Brands should be prepared to jump on the latest trends but crucially ensure they build some flexibility into their marketing and advertising campaigns to leverage these trends as they happen. For example, the return of The Only Way is Essex can offer flexible brands the opportunity to engage viewers with the cast member‘s latest outfit or accessory, as and when it appears on the reality TV show.

Sync with the entertainment calendar

Brands that keep an eye on what‘s coming up in the showbiz calendar can capitalise on the “halo effect”. In 2012, recorded a 35 per cent increase in searches for “Aston Martin” following the release of Skyfall. With the latest Bond movie Spectre out this summer, brands should keep their eyes peeled for popular items that could influence Bond fans. Marketers that overlay insight are set to make the biggest gains. For example, a female shopper who purchases “wellies” and “tents” on and also bought a dress inspired by Cara Delevigne‘s London Fashion Week outfits, might well be interested in items the model wore to festivals for their own fun-fuelled summer weekend.

Ultimately, by combining real-time insight into shopper behaviour with an in depth understanding of celebrity trends that are relevant to the individual shopper, brands and advertisers have a real opportunity to reach consumers with relevant and therefore successful advertising.

Phuong Nguyen, Head of Advertising eBay