China Day POVs

And voilá, a talking cat

So, we are going to talk a little more about Alibaba, not just because they are a big part of China and what they can do but because the following numbers are so impressive that we just have to talk about it. We went to see the talk ”What happens when Hollywood meets Silicon Valley?” with David Hill, President of Hilly Inc, a man who previously has planned Super bowl and the Oscars and Chris Tung Chief Marketing Officer from Alibaba. The talk was about how these two men planned “Eleven Eleven” together and how they made it such a huge success. Because how do you make the consumers want to see what is basically a four-hour long commercial?

But what is “Eleven Eleven”?: It’s like black Friday, but bigger. Way bigger. They had 7.4 billion interactions. 5 million traffic to P&G e-commerce store and they sold for 1.4 dollars in the first 6 minutes of the 11.11 galla. That’s the four-hour long event kicking of the day.  

Inside the Alibaba group the idea of a live tv show during “eleven eleven” was formed, and so Chris Tung thought to himself, “This needs to be big” so he immediately thought of Superbowl, and so he reached out to David Hill. David’s advice was not to make it as big as possible but to make something that touches the audience and make them want to engage. And that’s how the black cat came into the picture. The cat is Alibaba's symbol, so David wanted it to play a big role in the show, to have something the consumers would recognise.

What did they do in order to secure peoples attention?

The challenge was to keep people’s attention for four hours. And they started out well by taking Alibaba's mascot, the black cat, and making it talk. We are not just talking about an animation, the host stood with a real life black cat and it talked. Impossible you say? According to David Hill, it is not that hard actually, you just have to put Peanut butter on it’s lips and it looks like it’s talking, so you can put a voice over it and voilá, a talking cat.

But a talking cat isn’t enough to keep people glued to the screen, so what is it that we humans use a lot these days? Our smartphone of course, so they created a lot of competition where you had to use your phone to be a part of it,, furthermore you could download the Alibaba app and through the camera inside the app, you could buy things you saw on the TV immediately. And to promote it, they had celebrities come in, in specific clothes, like a Burberry jacket, and you could catch it on your camera and actually win the jacket, it was afterwards, sent by FedEx on live TV, and in that matter of hours, the jacket arrived to the lucky winner.  

Chris Tung said that his ambitions is to make 11.11 a global holiday that the whole world want to celebrate, and with the insight they have in their consumers and the passion behind the project, we believe that the ambition isn’t that far out of reach. We were so impressed and defiantly hoping 11.11 will spread to the west. We want to take part of the fun!.

Written by Emilie Haugelund