“We want the brand to be fun, engaging and approachable, so we've used light humor and human faces to represent the brand,” Sang said.
For example, one TV spot features an entrepreneur named Dave (the stories and characters are fictitious), who built a successful business buying and selling action figures on Alibaba.com.
In the spot, Dave is shown with his son, Stentorian, who jokes that his dad plays with dolls.
“Correction—action figures,” his dad says. “And with Alibaba.com, I can find all the best suppliers for my successful action-figure business.”
Other stories feature an oven-mitt maker and a robot company started by college students.
As part of the campaign, Alibaba.com has introduced a national contest in partnership with Inc. magazine to recognize and award entrepreneurs, with total prizes worth $100,000.
The contest features live events around the country, at which entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges. The final round of judging will be held in November in San Francisco.