If you haven’t heard of Single’s Day before, you’re probably missing out on a lot! Single’s Day, now popularly known as Double 11… started off as an entertaining festival for young Chinese people to celebrate that they were proud to be single. Celebrated on the 11th of November, the date is especially specific of what this day represents as the numerals (11/11) are all ones and symbolize being single. The obsession that people have with Christmas in the western world involves weeks of shopping, preparations, socialising, writing to-do lists, wish lists, and so on. That’s the kind of obsession people in China have with Single’s Day. Although it started off as a day to celebrate being single, today this celebration is primarily a massive shopping event where retailers come together to offer top deals and discounts for the day in an effort to make it more affordable for young singles to buy the things they’ve always wanted. The commercial logic of Single’s Day is that you don’t have to wait for a gift to enjoy something new or exciting. This spirit is captured by a Chinese saying, ‘If you cannot be with someone you like, you can at least be with something you like’.

Single’s Day has been described as a super-bowl for big brands where they can test new product launches, segments, and creative marketing campaigns to target young chinese audience. As an event it gained more prominence and exponential growth all thanks to China’s number one e-commerce site, Alibaba. The revenue recorded by Alibaba for Single’s Day, last year alone was a staggering $30.8 billion which makes the spending bonanza more than twice the size of Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Originally Single’s Day was really a celebration in China, but that hasn’t stopped the rest of the world from being able to take advantage of the deals and offers. In Canada, Single’s Day is soon to become a huge phenomenon as e-commerce giants have already floated plans to operate and have opened great opportunities for Canadian small & medium sized businesses.

Most Asian Canadians are concentrated in the urban areas of Southern Ontario, the Greater Vancouver area, Calgary, and other large Canadian cities. Notably, about 11% of Canadians (18-24 years of age) bought Single’s Day deals in 2018. While in 2018 only 4% of Canadian adults bought at least one Single’s Day deal as compared to 3% back in 2017.

In Canada, The Double 11 Campaigns are very brand specific with various International brands that are popular amongst Asians participating in the festival and providing discounts and offers to cater to them. For instance, Aldo offered 11% off on all in-store and online purchases and advertised the deal as ‘No-Strings Attached’ while Mac Cosmetics had a “treat yo’self” promotion for Single’s Day on their Canadian website where you could get a 3 piece free sample set and a make-up bag with a purchase. This year, Tommy Hilfiger has a Single’s Day special offer in all of its stores in Premium & Outlet Malls and the popular Make-up Brand Lancôme has various offers already running for 11:11 on its official website. Brands and Influencers video live-streaming for Single’s Day is expected to be huge this year with many international brands like Estée Lauder getting in on the act. The interactive nature of these live-streaming sessions usually leads to higher user engagement and conversion rates.

It’s only through the support and active participation of international brands that Single’s Day could gain momentum internationally, specifically in Canada, not only amongst its Asian audience but also amongst its international audience who are culturally diverse and looking for reasons to make an expenditure. As an ethnic agency that specializes in multicultural advertising,

Maple Diversity Communications can help brands make use of culturally significant days like Single’s Day and elevate their reach to the most lucrative target groups in Canada.