Ad nauseum: Taobao's 'Tmall'

Look for: abs of adamantine and other crazy characters

The background Originally called Taobao Mall, ‘Tmall’ was launched in 2008 to service business-to- consumer transactions, instead of the consumer-to-consumer deals that Taobao supposedly facilitates. Tmall sellers are registered, tax-paying businesses and include the likes of Adidas, Uniqlo and Yihaodian. Late last year, there was an uproar among smaller business owners when Tmall announced plans to raise membership fees from 6,000RMB to 30,000-60,000RMB depending on the size of the business.

The story In the ads, five people ‘express’ themselves through their purchases, imploring us to call them by their unique names. We meet...

1.Cool (user ID ‘Frozenfury’; pictured), who looks like Korean pop deity Rain with an overbite. He wears a black jacket and a crucifi x and has abs of adamantine.

2. Fan’er (user ID ‘Ren Chunlai’), a Karl Lagerfeld wannabe with a ponytail, chunky necklace and dark glasses that must make it difficult to take pictures.

3.Sprout (user ID ‘g110326’), a Chinese cherub dressed like Baby Bear from Goldilocks.

4.Wood Forest (user ID Chole130), who could’ve stepped out of a Muji ad. She holds a vase containing a couple of leaves and looks wistful, like someone who just received an online purchase that didn’t meet her expectations.

5.House (user ID ‘Christian719’), a kooky hipster with a computer mouse on his head.

Nausea rating 3/5. These characters are about as diverse as a CCTV news broadcast.
  • 4 out of 5 stars