Alipay provides local men, the ‘perfect girlfriend’ – New Campaign


As competition rises in China, we are noticing that Chinese brands, in particular, technology brands, are really placing emphasis on creativity and story telling to build brand affinity.  In a recent video campaign, on Tencent Video, Alipay has used the metaphor of the ‘perfect girlfriend’ to communicate the support and care their mobile app zhifubao (支付宝)can deliver on a daily basis.


Alipay’s mobile app is like the perfect girlfriend

The ad’s main character is a geeky local guy, who is first seen picking his nose and playing on a gaming console. Normality is broken, when “Baby” is introduced to us, as his surprisingly beautiful girlfriend.  She does everything for him – cooks, gives him money when he needs, brushes his teeth, tucks him in at night.  When he leaves the house to get a cab, she even hails a taxi in the rain for her boyfriend, to the amazement of others, who are thinking out loud “What’s a girl like that, doing with a guy like him”.

At the end of the video, Baby is revealed to be a figment of his imagination – what Alipay’s payment app would be like if it was a person, the perfect supporting girlfriend.

Take a look at the video here, be patient with the pesky ad at the start

Why this is noteworthy from a brand and marketing standpoint

  • Despite featuring the idea of a relationship, the ad plays creatively on male and female stereotypes in urban China, without delving into strong sexual innuendo – so a level of sophistication noticed
  • Further evidence, our how local tech brands, are focussing on building a relationship with their consumers, beyond convenience and transaction – international brands take note
  • It feels humour will reemerge in Chinese communication, not in the traditional areas such as beer in the West, but in tech, a space that is more imbued with freedom and creativity in China
  • From an insight perspective, further evidence of the intimacy and personal relationship that local consumers have with mobile technology – negatively this can be read as dependence, but positively it is an enabler.  Brands it is best to be on the latter side of this equation, be an enabler. 

About Author

Jerry Clode

Jerry Clode is Head of Digital & Social Insight at Resonance. He leads Resonance SMART, providing leading-edge research, strategy and naming for brands in China using bespoke methodologies. Jerry also produces Resonance's popular China Social Branding Report, a bi-weekly publication covering modern marketing methods of the world's top brands.

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