Why Taobao’s virtual second-floor has become so popular in China?


Since Taobao launched their virtual upstairs campaign launched on 10th August, young Chinese netizens have become regulars and crazy shoppers at their “mystery second floor”. Two thousand bayu dumplings, which were mentioned in the first video, sold out in just  2 hours! Moreover, the next day, 1200 Spanish hams, the key product in the second video, sold out within 2 hours, too! What makes these products suddenly become so popular? What magic did the campaign videos use to make the product so unique? Let’s take a look at the latest, most influential video — “Tear from the Peach Blossom” to understand the dynamic.

Please watch the video in full at the bottom of the post, but first a SMART discussion 

A disillusioned young actor quits traditional Peking Opera career


A fight between two talented Peking Opera performers. Their best performance is ‘Peach Blossom Fan’.

The young Peking Opera performer on the left was having a fight with his partner on the second floor because he was going to quit performing Peking Opera. The young man complained that only a few elder people were still interested in Peking Opera now, and it was a waste of his career if he kept devoting his time to Peking Opera. His partner was pissed off and called him traitor!

A memorable dessert from his partner, to change his mind


Before he left, he received a parting dessert from his opera partner.

Two weeks later, the young man finally quits and comes to say goodbye his opera partner on the second floor. His partner presents a special dessert to him, which was called “tear from the peach blossom”. It was the gift is a parting gift to remember their stage partnership.

The dessert featured is made with peach gum and lotus seeds, which is deemed to be good for the throat. The young performer’s partner used to cook it for him when they were training together. The talented young man sang his best opera: ‘Peach Blossom Fan’ as a memory of their partnership. End.

Peach Gum – you can find it on Taobao!


Transferring from the video page to the purchasing page within Taobao.

The video ends with a sentence: “You can find the natural peach gum on Taobao”. Pressing on the ‘I want to buy’ button, consumers will navigate to the shopping page directly. Using an old night market image as its background, the shopping page provides information about the main product – peach gum, and some suggestions on other products, such as lotus seeds.

The video from the content resonated well. The good old times, the treasured friendship, the concern about the decline of traditional art and the beauty of Peking Opera are all brought to life  in the video.

As one netizen commented:

It makes me slow down and think about the pure beauty of our tradition.

And also others commented that:

I feel love and warmth from this video. I bought it because it reminds me of this feeling.

Probably that’s why this campaign has become so successful: the content makes viewers nostalgic and the feelings transfer to the product. Though, to some extent, consumers in China are hard to engage with, once you truly understand their sentiments, there is a chance to create loyalty.

About Author

Cherry Han

Cherry Han is a Consumer Research Specialist at Resonance. Graduating from Newcastle University, with a Masters degree in Media and Public Relations, she has more recently set her sights to deciphering the behavior of Chinese netizens – particularly her fellow post-90s.

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