In late 2014, Alibaba closed the biggest IPO in U.S. history, yet the Chinese ecommerce giant was still virtually unknown in the West. To breach the U.S. market, VSA developed a narrative for Western audiences that captures Alibaba’s business story and showcases what modern Chinese commerce is all about. The story communicates the company’s business model, products and services, societal role, and strategic priorities. It launched through Alibaba Defined, a visually rich website solely dedicated to the narrative, and was promoted via a :60 second TV spot, which aired during the ESPN broadcast of a Pac-12 men’s college basketball game—the first U.S. sports game, college or pro, played in China (also sponsored by Alibaba). The spot reframes the modern phrase “Made in China” to inform viewers that contemporary China is richly connected to the global economy.

Retail & E-Commerce