Hardly any other TV series attracts more attention on Twitter. Hundreds of thousands of people tweet, share or simply enjoy the #Tatort comments. Relevance and topicality for millions. The idea: SOCIAL CRIME SHOPPING. A real-time second screen experiment with a team of top Twitterers – but still quite a gamble for eBay.
eBay short-term chooses an upcoming episode of Tatort and gets top Twitter users on board. These influencers comment on Tatort for eBay. Social TV in real time: whenever a product plays a special role in the film, the team creates a pointed comment and tweets a link to the corresponding eBay offer. Always original, smart and entertaining. Something happens on Tatort, there’s some stupid dialog, something gets broken? The tweet goes out instantly. The eBay Twitterers dive into the world of sub-discussions. Sometimes they’re talking about the detective’s green leather jacket; then the suspect’s VR goggles are the topic. The followers are delighted and retweet as fast as they can.
The success is almost criminal! The team writes a tweet every 30 seconds, getting 2,700 retweets and likes, and achieving 230,000 impressions in less than two hours. Media and bloggers report enthusiastically with total reach of almost 5 million. Best of all, however: The number of clicks on the linked eBay offers is an unexpected 20 percent higher than average.
This real-time communication experiment owes its success to the enthusiasm that the event has ignited purely in earned media. It was the community dynamic alone that has set off a buzz on Twitter. Not the brand itself but a team of Twitter users draws attention to products that match with what’s happening on one episode of Germany’s most successful crime series “Tatort”. They show the variety of eBay Marketplace without advertising messages but authentic, smart and entertaining. The followers are delighted and retweet as fast as they can. Media and bloggers report enthusiastically with total reach of almost 5 million.
How can an online marketplace like eBay exploit the Sunday hype around Germany’s most successful crime series and, at the same time, show how incredibly broad the eBay spectrum is? Certainly not by drawing attention itself to products that match with what’s happening on the Tatort episode. The Twitter community is a very passionate group and can see right through any kind of promotion immediately. And the community uses every chance they can to start a discussion about controversial issues. This turns even a deliberated campaign into a heated discussion that could potentially escalate to a shitstorm. It is important that the idea do not come solely from eBay, as it would lack credibility. So eBay make way for real influencers on Twitter. They comment on Tatort for eBay. They are celebs in their respective communities with combined followers going into the hundreds of thousands.