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letgo / Customisable commercials

by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world

Listings company creates Hollywood-style templates for users to spice up their ad

New York-based classifieds app letgo has added a feature that allows users to create listings of blockbuster proportions.

The Commercializer, made with agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami, includes four pre-made, Hollywood-style templates for letgo users to choose from: an 80s action film parody, a perfume ad starring two loin-clothed Romans, an exceptionally clichéd prescription drug ad and a shopping channel segment hosted by bickering ex-lovers.


The seller’s item, and its price, are then inserted into the chosen advert using motion capture technology.


These customised commercials then appear alongside the letgo listing, and can be easily shared on social media. According to the agency, so far 100,000 ads have been created for 100,000 different items.

Contagious Insight / 

Benefits of branding / The power emotion has on the decisions we make and the products we buy has been well documented for decades. In the 1950s, Ernest Dichter’s research with focus groups found that ‘brand image’ and ‘brand personality’ were as important as the product itself. In the 1994 book Descartes Error, Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio argues that the areas of the brain that process ‘thinking’ and ‘emotion’ are inextricably linked – so one action cannot happen without the influence of the other.

This gives any letgo sellers who use the Commercializer an advantage because highly branded or commercialised products are given a higher value than the same product listed in a more generic way. By creating a tool that gives its sellers the ability to boost the image of their products, letgo are democratising that process in a funny, tongue-in-cheek yet memorable way.

‘Big-budget advertising has traditionally been limited to those with big budgets. With this handy innovation, all the magical selling power that used to take months to dream up and cost millions to produce can now be unleashed for free with a couple of clicks on the seller’s smartphone,’ Jay Gelardi, executive creative director, CP+B Miami, said in a press release. ‘Commercials have never been so cost effective.’

Super shareable / Regardless of whether the sellers know of the emotional advantage these adverts will give them, the customisable commercials are impeccably made and, consequently, perfect for sharing. The ads were directed by Matt Villines of Saturday Night Live and comedy directing duo Matt & Oz, and are genuinely laugh-out-loud funny, so it’s not surprising to see sellers creating and sharing them.

This means letgo branded content is being shared across social media platforms, increasing awareness of the platform as well as the second-hand items. According to Nielsen, there is $381bn worth of used but untouched goods sitting in U.S. homes right now – and this could help letgo effectively tap into that market.




This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our intelligence tool featuring the most creative and effective ideas in marketing from around the world. I/O helps anyone in the world of marketing understand why brands are innovating, how they're doing it and with what success.

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