By Malay Desai
Chinese online retailer Alibaba made a video featuring Hollywood actor Kevin Spacey in his ‘President of America’ character in the run up to Singles Day, their annual shopping festival. In the message, the President laments at not being able to shop because of the firewalls in the White House, before quoting a line from Alibaba CEO. He then lists out the things he would shop online if he were allowed to shop online, then proceeds to wear spectacles and a hat to step out. On Singles Day, Alibabaalso called Daniel Craig to headline a televised event.
Why we Like?
In the past year or so, you have seen bouquets and brickbats (mostly brickbats) being thrown at the works our online players have done to promote themselves, from Flipkart and Pepper Fry to most recently, Zomato. Today, I present to you the next level, the new order of the term ‘scale.’ Alibaba.
November 11, with its binary structure, is Singles Day in China, a 90s ritual brought alive by Amazon’s eastern big daddy, Alibaba. It’s their ‘Big Billion’ moment, and if you thought things were noisy this Diwali back home, wait up: Alibaba declared the festival open in a star-studded televised event where the biggest name was none else than Daniel Craig.
A few days before that, another universal star, Kevin Spacey took on his ‘Frank Underwood from House of Cards’ avatar and delivered a ‘Presidential message’as part of Alibaba’s campaign. The two-minute video opens with a seal of the US Prez and keeps the tongue firmly in cheek.
Underwood, with his inimitable delivery, states the obvious, the funny, the absurd and the entertaining in this video, stuff like ‘I’m sure there’ll be loads of deals on candy too.’ He gives out direct plugs to Alibaba’s subsidiary site Tmail, which along with Taobao sees millions of sales every year this time.
There is a mention of Jack Ma too, now one of the world’s richest CEOs and a celebrity in his own right too; and I cannot help but draw parallel to our Bansals, who are on their way up in a ride that seems bumpier but determined. Last month, they were out doing deliveries. They’d look at this and be inspired, I hope.
Alibaba this year broke its own sales record of Singles Day, recording a gigantic 14.3 USD. I’m no gyaani on sales tips here, but I predict our Bansals and KunalBahlswill spend much time in stunts, promotions and the likes, more and more every year. Hamarepaas bhi Ma hai!
(To watch this commercial, enter ‘bit.ly/Nov23ad’ in your browser)
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