Etsy Reveals Gift Mode Campaign With Super Bowl Sneak Peek

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


VP Brand Marketing Brad Minor has revealed Etsy's marketing campaign for Gift Mode with a sneak peek of their big Super Bowl ad.

Etsy Kicks-off Gift Mode Brand Campaign with Big Game Debut

Last week, we shared our vision to create a gift shopping experience that supercharges everyone’s gift-giving potential. Our first order of business in that pursuit: launch Gift Mode™, an interactive hub for gifting that combines AI and human curation to help shoppers find the perfect present.

Now, we aim to tell the world about it.

On February 11, Etsy will be making its debut at one of the biggest stages for brand storytelling – and, oh yes, for football as well. Our first time running an ad during the big game is designed to signal our long-term commitment to bringing more buyers to our 7 million sellers by focusing on a mission we can uniquely own – gifting.

We’re using the unmissable moment to kick-off a brand campaign that will share what’s new at Etsy, while keeping what has always made Etsy so special front-and-center – our sellers and their unique items. In our campaign stories, our sellers’ handmade and personalized gifts are the ultimate prize. And Gift Mode is introduced as a powerful new way to make discovering them even easier.

In developing our positioning for Gift Mode and our brand campaign, we started with the human experience – all the feelings that come with gifting. Through our research we found that 75% of surveyed Americans believe that being a good gift giver is important, and 64% feel it takes a lot of effort to find the perfect gift. Then you layer on the fact that 71% of Americans have felt anxiety about gift shopping within the past year 1, and you see a real need we believe we can address.

Our campaign stories show and tell buyers how Etsy can meet them in that moment of uncertainty and reassure them that we have the inspiration, items and intuitive product features to help them “gift easy.” And while Etsy is already known as the gifting destination for major holidays, our storytelling will extend to more everyday gifting moments – like birthdays, anniversaries and housewarmings – which we’ve found represent roughly half of all gifting purchases.

Our creative strategy is to tell the stories of these everyday gifting moments – heightening the stakes to cinematic proportions and resolving on an absurdist twist. So, while the panic of gifting is serious, our campaign aims to bring levity and relatability to that “oh crap” feeling we’ve all had when caught unprepared as gifters.

Minor's team tried to capture that "oh crap" moment in a humorous way with some groan-worthy stereotypes in an ad featuring one of history's great gift giving moments - the Statue of Liberty.

Gift Mode was officially announced last week but some eagle-eyed sellers spotted it early when someone at Etsy accidentally pushed it live in an embarrassing premature launch failure.

Etsy Gift Mode AI Recommendation Tool Launches In Stealth Mode
Etsy Gift Mode helps buyers easily find special gifts for all the people & occasions in their lives, with a little help from AI.

Etsy is pulling out all the star-studded stops, not only spending millions of dollars to feature Gift Mode in their debut Super Bowl ad this year, but also tapping celebrity Drew Barrymore to be their first ever "Chief Gifting Officer."

Etsy also recently released another ad spot to introduce consumers to Gift Mode.

Sellers are discussing the ads in the Etsy community, with some pointing out the perils of what the YouTube algorithm might serve up after watching the commercial and others pointing out the irony that the ad features a gift from France but Gift Mode not currently available in that country.

Etsy “Gift Mode” Super Bowl 2024, your thoughts?
Just watched the Etsy “Gift Mode” Super Bowl 2024 ad on YouTube. Has anyone watched it? maybe I am missing something but I was underwhelmed it also did not help that the video was followed by Youtube’s suggested next video The Ugly Side of Etsy.

Just watched the Etsy "Gift Mode" Super Bowl 2024 ad on YouTube.

Has anyone watched it? maybe I am missing something but I was underwhelmed it also did not help that the video was followed by Youtube's suggested next video

The Ugly Side of Etsy.

you are not missing much, I thought Super Bowl adverts were supposed to make you laugh, produce a smile when watching or at least create some kind of emotion.

I watched those previews on CNN this morning too. They're not the whole ads, just supposed to be giving people a sneak peak. I didn't find any of their examples particularly enticing, definitely didn't get me excited at all to see the whole ads.

If that's the level that this year's ads are at, I think Etsy is going to fit right in with all the other mundane ads. While I did find the cake ad cute, it was not really special and not one I'd be inclined to remember 30 seconds later. I'm not expecting much more from whatever else they have planned, because they have not yet succeeded in getting me excited.

I like that one its punchy and clear what is being advertised. Although I do find it a little ironic that they are sending a gift to France but France wouldn’t be able to reciprocate as gift mode isn’t currently available to use there

At first I thought the ad missed the mark entirely. Then I realized Etsy doesn't really care to explain what Etsy is supposed to be, a handmade, vintage and supply website. They don't care anymore what is sold here, their own gift guide brings up tons of mass-produced, supposedly "not allowed for sale on Etsy" items. So in that same vein, their ad basically tells folks any kind of gift can be found on Etsy, it doesn't mean it's handmade, vintage or a supply.

It's been obvious for quite some time that Etsy no longer believes they can grow, and produce ROI for their sharholders, by remaining true to their core mission statement. This site is already starting to look like every other .com retail website where anything is allowed to be sold, Etsy just hasn't publicly fessed up to what the site actually is yet. "Support small" and "lovingly handmade just for you" are much better tag lines so I guess Etsy will continue the charade until the public forces their hand.

What do you think of Etsy's Gift Mode ad campaigns? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of experience in online sales & marketplaces, providing expert commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Amazon, Etsy & more at Value Added Resource!