Ebay Clocks Toy Boat with Belief

EBay‘s most recent advertising campaign features three TV ads: Clocks, Toy Boat and Belief.

Potential vendors in Ebay Clocks ad

In “Clocks” we start with a perspective shot that shows we’re in a suburban street. A clock collector (played by Dray Muise) is cleaning the clocks above his fireplace mantle. Birds are singing. A clock starts a chorus of ticking. The collector turns around (like a clockwork doll) to see his living room filled with people and their unusual timepieces. The crowd spills out from his house, taking over the entire neighbourhood, into the streets and down to the water. A woman tells us, “There are thousands of people who love what you love”. The collector chooses his favorite clock, a red teapot clock held by a woman in pink (played by Jasmin Geldo). She smiles while the rest let out a collective groan. “How will you find them?” Ebay – the power of all of us. Click on the image below to play the Clocks video.

In “Toy Boat”, a young boy (played by Mason Matthews) plays on the beach with his toy boat. His mother waves to him, telling him it’s time to go. The place and time are Cape Cod, 1972. A music box starts. The boat is caught up in the water as the tide rises. Next thing we see the boat drifting through calm waters. The frame moves to the boat negotiating huge waves in a storm. As it passes by a large tanker it is caught up in the propeller and sent down to Davy Jones’ locker. Years later we see a crew of fishermen emptying their catch on to the deck. Out comes the toy boat! It is picked up by one of the workers. We next see the boat on the computer screen as part of an ebay advertisement. The camera moves to the awe struck face of what must be our boy grown up (played by David McNiven). The voiceover (Rosanna Arquette): “What if nothing was ever forgotten”. The camera takes us to a framed photograph of our young boy holding the boat. “What if nothing was ever lost”. Once again the text, “ebay The power of all of us.” Click on the image below to play the Toy Boat video.

“Belief” is a collection of vignettes demonstrating the capacity for human goodness. A red bowl “Take-A-Penny”. A poster saying “I found your dog”. A woman sweeping the neighbourhood pavement. Three full recycling bins. A businessman throws a basketball from the pavement back over the fence. A welcome mat. A friendly wave from a sunflower-bedecked balcony. A smile from a nurse (or doctor?). Meals on wheels delivery. A lift (elevator) is held open for a newcomer. A scout uniform. “Smile” painted on a post. A $10 tip left with an empty coffee cup. Strangers help retrieve papers blowing in the wind. A note left on a car admitting to hitting the car, with a phone number. A family photo – with cross cultural adoption. A car is push started in the snow. A man walks with a bouquet of flowers. A swinging cuckoo clock. Blood donors. A car is let into a lane on the motorway with grace. Commuters stand while a seat for disabled waits empty. The text: “We began with the belief that people are good.” A pedestrian stops to pick up a letter and puts it in the post box. “You proved it. ebay. The power of all of us.” Click on the image below to play the Belief video.


The eBay campaign was created by advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco with creative team Jeffrey Goodby, Rob Palmer, Jamie Barrett and agency producers Cindy Fluitt and Mary Jane Otto.

Filming was shot by director Noam Murro via Biscuit Filmworks with director of photography Barry Petersen, producer Jay Veal and production designer John Reinhart.

Editor was Avi Oron at Bikini Edit. Visual effects were developed at Digital Domain. Music and sound design were developed by Christopher Kemp and David Gold at Elias Arts while Dave Baker did post production mixing at Crescendo Studios.

The Clocks ad won a Clio Awards (bronze) in 2005 for Dot Com advertising, as well as an 84th Art Directors Club Annual Awards silver for television.