BBDO + Proximity China launch Alibaba Group's first ever branding campaign celebrating small

Alibaba.jpgAlibaba Group has just launched its first ever global branding campaign, in support of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, of which it is a TOP partner. The campaign was released across China (TVC, OOH), Korea (OOH), Japan, UK, US (digital platform). This campaign was created by BBDO and Proximity China, with creative duties led by Proximity, and include 3 videos, print visuals, OOH, website, social media, logo optimisation, research support and corporate communications.
At the heart of the campaign is the manifesto 'To the Greatness of Small', which echoes with Alibaba's philosophy. "Since our founding 19 years ago, Alibaba Group has always believed in and embraced the greatness of small in everything we do," said Alibaba Group Chief Marketing Officer Chris Tung. "Through this campaign we share the story of what Alibaba has stood for from day one, which is to support the small players and leverage our technology to help underdogs succeed in the global marketplace. We believe that technology can level the playing field, and that even small companies have the opportunity to become global companies."

The campaign consists of three brand videos directed by Eli Sverdlov from Israel - one manifesto video and two short films based on real stories, filmed in South Africa and Slovakia within a two-month period.

ALIBABA 2.jpgTo demonstrate the true power of 'To the Greatness of Small', the manifesto video was shot from the perspective of multiple underdogs around the world, leveraging different scenes of their life journeys to make up different layers of the film.


ALIBABA 3.jpgThis spot features an amateur ice hockey team from Kenya. Ice Hockey is a virtually non-existent sport in Kenya where only one ice rink exists. Under these circumstance, the ice hockey team could only learn from watching YouTube videos, and resort to using a wooden sculpture to stand in as goal keeper. Moreover, without professional coaching and funds, they have had to turn down match invitations. Despite this, this 'amateur' hockey team remained thoroughly committed and dedicated towards pursuing their dream.

Behind the Scenes: During the shooting of this film, the video production crew invited the 5 Kenyan hockey players to South Africa, shooting in a proper ice hockey rink, leaving them both excited and touched. Every emotion was authentic, to the extent the director did not have to offer too much guidance. Upon completion of the shoot, the players were asked if they wanted a tour of South Africa, to which their team captain replied "we do not want to go anywhere else but here in the professional rink, if only for one more hour".


Alibaba 4.jpgThe other spot features the story of Australian sculler Bobby Pearce during the quarterfinals of the 1928 Olympic Games in Amsterdam where he displayed a small act of kindness - pausing mid-race to let a mother duck and her ducklings pass.  Oars back in the water, Pearce caught up and overtook his French opponent, winning the hearts of the crowd, a gold medal, and setting a new world record that would not be beaten in 45 years.

Onscreen: " We believe small acts lead to greatness.  To the greatness of small."


Behind the scenes: Bobby Pearce's respect for life heavily inspired the shooting process for the films, where each duckling was carefully and lovingly cared for - escorted by the local Wildlife Conservation Society of South Africa, and ensured they were not in the water for more than 30 minutes before being dried and warmed.

On the day of the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, Alibaba Group will be leveraging different media resource across their platforms to further promote the campaign.

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