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Tmall and JD: The Epic Battle of Double Eleven 天猫、京东决战双十一


We don’t want to distract you from your hunt for best deals this singles day, but we do want to talk about how two main platforms, Tmall and JD, are both repackaging the shopping frenzy ‘holiday’ with new meaning this year.


Double Eleven quickly blossomed into a national celebration in China, another proud badge of “the world’s largest” for China. The date wasn’t always a shopping spree—it actually started as an antidote to “Valentines Day” to give all the singles out there a semi-official day for celebration. The e-commerce festival’s humble origins trace back to 2009, when Daniel Zhang, an executive at Alibaba decided to promote Tmall through the day. From only 27 merchants participating in the first edition, the festival almost instantly grew into a yearly consumption binge that consistently breaks the gross merchandise volume record—reaching sales of RMB213.5 billion last year. Although Tmall is the main star of Double Eleven shopping extravaganza, e-commerce players such as, Pingduoduo,, and many others also joined in to boost up their sales.


As well having huge discounts, the e-commerce giants release commercial films to promote the sales which play an important role in attracting consumers to their websites. The message, of course, cannot be as blatant as “Buy, buy, buy!”, so these calls to action are usually disguised. This year, aside from a 30s video featuring its spokesperson Jakson Yee, Tmall also released a longer commercial film, that encompasses the theme of the shopping festival. Last year, as Double Eleven celebrated its tenth anniversary, Tmall announced that “Splendour had just begun”, a year before the theme was simply “Wishing you a happy Double Eleven”. This year all the promo activities of the platform are united by the message that can be loosely translated as “Wishes come true at double 11”.



The 4-minute long spot features a cast of 11 characters each telling an inspirational story about how simple things (bought on Tmall) can change a person’s expectations, and fulfill desires for a better life. It uses the simple formula of struggles and emotional hurdles that build up a dramatic feel in the first part, and then lead to a happy ending later. We see a boss who doesn’t actually want to appear so tough; a kuaidi delivery guy who’s pursuing his dream; a fashion photographer’s assistant trying to get more people notice her; a dancer who doubts if she’s talented enough— watch the video and discover the remaining transformation stories yourself.


JD, on the other hand, doesn’t get all ‘down to earth’ and emotional with their release of two small ads ahead of the Double Eleven promo activities that started on November 1st. Two spots made by the creative agency 180 Digital Inc. feature JD’s brand ambassadors —actress Andy Yang and actor Li Xian. Filled with close-ups, minimalistic interiors, contrasting red and white colours, and very simple copy, the spots don’t tell a story, be instead simply invite consumers to JD, where the “good products are”.

另一边,京东提前于11月1日就发布了两支短广告,没有走完全接地气和情感化的路线。这两个片子由180 Digital Inc.公司制作,邀请京东的两位品牌大使杨紫和李现出演,用特写、红和白两个对比色、极简装饰和文案,甚至没有讲一个故事,仅用“在意的好物”吸引消费者上京东。


Li Xian

Andy Yang

Which strategy won, and did other brands that scored big this year make their promos in line with the Tmall and JD official ones? We’ll find out later, and for now, happy shopping!



Client 客户:Alibaba 阿里巴巴

Production 制作方:Whatafilm

Executive producers: 监制:吴海贝、洪亮

Director 导演:廉欣

Producers: 制片:黄丹丹、齐亮

Camera 摄影师:NICKY彭

Light 灯光:金马影视

Art 美术:卢阳

Props 道具:张登雨

Makeup/costumes 服化:Nicole

Editors 剪辑:小宇、潘潘

Coloring 调色:曹几几

Music 作曲/演唱:李恬


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