Every year, we buy the same Christmas gifts. Candles, beach towels, socks. Regardless of time or motivation, we struggle to find thoughtful, unique gifts, and end up buying those that ‘will do.’  Christmas Eve is often the last chance for some of us, and wandering around department stores during late-night shopping is a feeling we know all too well.

The brief from PayPal last Christmas was clear; create a digital and social campaign that connects PayPal’s unique Australian online merchants, to hungry-for-gift-spiration PayPal customers. Engage them on an emotional level, to not only drive transactions, but position PayPal as the enabler of the easiest and most enjoyable way to search, find and pay for the perfect Christmas gift…

…oh, and make it best-in-class.

With clear direction and a desire to produce something we all could be proud of, the group worked like a well-oiled machine. Collectively agreeing on a creative proposition, ‘PayPal killed the forgettable gift’, each agency played to their strengths and came up with concepts that delivered on the prop. Through collaboration with the client, weekly creative jams, conference-calls, check-ins, brainstorms and a whole lot of planning, a seamless execution came together, with a never-been-done-before idea, merchant engagement assets, new media formats and PR opportunities and partnerships.

What was it? A one-of-its-kind network, called Shop off the Beaten Path, involving;

– One brand;

– Four different agencies;

– Ten different clients, and;

– Over 150 unique Australian online merchants.

It was centred on a search hub with traffic driven through paid, owned and earned channels. The campaign engaged both customers and merchants, shining a light on the laneways of the internet, to provide unprecedented exposure to businesses without large marketing budgets. It also provided inspiration and access to the most bespoke, quirky, beautiful, geeky, adventurous and trendy gifts for would-be shoppers.

The PayPal team liaised with merchants to get them involved and engaged with the network, garnering 1,450 registrations of a required 150! Isobar lead the digital creative, strategy and communications planning, with iProspect and Vizeum partnering on the media approach.

Spanning over a number of months in the lead up to Christmas, activity was segmented between awareness and performance to align with identified behavioural differences between the organised shopper and the last minute shopper. Media weightings were aligned to Roy Morgan data, which was used to identify peak timings in the last minute shopper user journey.

Strong consideration was given to media partner selection to ensure high levels of measurability, which was necessary for the test and learn approach to improving campaign performance.

1st party data remained important throughout, particularly through display and social channels, allowing media to tap into sentiment and brand recognition of existing PayPal users. Retail environments and audiences were also sought to bring relevance to the shopping behaviours of both the organised and last minute shoppers. This included a bespoke partnership with eBay, where the shopping portal was replicated within the eBay website to ensure an unobtrusive and natural online shopping experience.

Overall, the campaign smashed every target set, exceeding transaction targets by 19% and revenue by 39%. Aided by 67 pieces of mainstream media coverage, with an estimated media value of $1m, PayPal also saw their lead in brand consideration extended by 4%.

But numbers aside, we’ve set up what we believe to be one of the most integrated marketing teams in the country, ensuring nothing but success for the PayPal & Dentsu Aegis team in years to come.


Rob Mills

Rob Mills is a Performance Director who has been part of the iProspect Sydney team for over 3 years. Rob’s focus is to drive the long term strategic development of client’s media activity, working closely with agency partners across the DAN network on holistic campaigns and business problem solving.