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11/11: Singles Day – Innovatie

Moving swiftly on from the trials and tribulations of the past few days, welcome to this week’s Innovatie!


So, does anyone know what today is? 11/11? No? Well, let me educate you, my Western friends. Today is Double Eleven – or what used to be known as “Singles’ Day” in China. Think Black Friday / Cyber Monday, only way bigger, and all about buying things for yourself. Well, not necessarily for yourself, but all about buying things online anyway.


Basically, Singles Day started out as a small tradition among young, single lads in China. They started getting together on 11/11 (all the “1”s you see, representing loneliness), and doing fun things as single people. The gals soon joined in on the craic, and towards the end of the last decade, it was a well-known BDO (Big Day Out) among young people in China.


Imagine being raised in a culture where they are under so much pressure to get married. Must be awful, I can’t imagine wh… OH NO WAIT we are in Ireland. Ah no, I’m joking. Modern Dublin Ireland has come a long, long way. Mostly. #anysignofyegettinmarried #haveyeanyNEWSforus


Anyway, back to the lonely lads & lassies. It wasn’t long before the online shopping giant that is Alibaba got wind of this day and thought, “KA-CHING!” Everyone who was celebrating this pseudo-holiday was digital-savvy, and they saw a way to tap into that. Now, they cleverly distanced themselves from the term “Singles’ Day” after a few years (my guess is some clever person demised that profiting off the loneliness of others could be construed by some as cruel) and now it is referred to as “double-eleven” (confirmed by Wei J).


Things have seriously taken off since 2010, and this year, Alibaba will likely crack $15billion worth of online, mostly mobile, sales.


So, relevance for brands? Well, any brand with an eCommerce offering is usually all over Black Friday / Cyber Monday; and Double Eleven is basically the Chinese version of this, so no big take home messages there. However, the fact that it has gotten so big so quickly is yet another indicator of the spending power in China, and further reinforces decisions made by many Western brands to tap into the Chinese market.


Moral of the story? When Black Friday comes round, buy something nice for someone you love. Or, you know, for yourself… Sure you deserve it #lookoutfornumberone #ilovemewhodoyoulove


Have a good weekend


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