Our photo theme this week: Singles’ Day Fever. Wild ads, e-commerce madness and other virtual ephemera surrounding the consumer-tastic November 11 holiday for all the lonely hearts out there.
Omg, it’s Singles’ Week!
Singles’ Day, if you don’t know, is a holiday celebrated on November Eleventh (11/11) that started on college campuses in Nanjing the early ’90s and in recent years has been transformed into a bona fide cultural event. What once was kind of an internet joke, and then became a pretty huge marketing plank for Chinese e-commerce giants like Alibaba and JD.com, is now a made-up holiday that dwarfs the West’s two biggest shopping days (Black Friday and Cyber Monday) in terms of money changing hands online:
According to Fortune, in the U.S. “Cyber Monday 2016 was the biggest day in the history of U.S. e-commerce,” hitting $3.45 billion, to follow up Black Friday’s online sales of $2.72 billion. However, Cyber Monday and Black Friday combined were dwarfed a few weeks earlier on November 11 when China’s Singles’ Day saw $17.8 billion changing hands.
This year, Singles’ Day kicked off almost two weeks in advance with offline specials tying in to Alibaba founder Jack Ma’s “new retail” model: brick-and-mortar stores with no cash and no cashiers.
And pre-gaming a consumer spectacle weeks in advance is not the only move that Singles’ Day has cribbed out of the Western holiday playbook: it’s also blanketed China’s major cities in ads. So we’ll kick off this week’s photo series with one of a few bus stop spots I’ve seen from T Mall — Alibaba’s Amazon-like marketplace for brands to set up official stores — visually celebrating the wonderful bounty there to be picked up at a discount by the singles with expendable cash.
VR is a good choice for singles, for obvious reasons.
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