Frontline of Taobao Maker Festival 2020｜New Blood: A booming innovative online market, a rebirth amid pandemic
Reported by Ivy Yu in Hangzhou, Edited and translated by Ang Li & Hao Li
Have you heard of these seemingly “crazy” and unimaginable ideas? Han-style clothes that you can wear to dance at bars, flying machines that resemble Iron Man, insect lollipops, and the milk tea that is specially made for cats, etc. The booming online market for all these creative ideas is a way for the younger generation to make a difference with their minds.
In 2020, a moment of rebirth amid the pandemic, the Alibaba’s Taobao Maker Festival (TMF), an annual gathering championing makers and innovators of China’s leading social commerce platform, ushered in its fifth year. This year's TMF is under the theme “New Blood”, presenting over 150 well-selected highly creative products in the form of virtual artifacts on display and enabling Taobao users to interact in a new approach.
TMF is another important development that Alibaba is working on in addition to Tmall's "Double 11", and unlike "Double 11", TMF is more than sales and transactions since its debut. Speaking of the TMF’s original intention, Alibaba’s Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO, Zhang Yong once said, "The fundamental purpose of TMF is to establish some kind of spiritual connection with consumers." Hence, since the first year, TMF has always been held offline in order to enhance interaction with young users.
"Since the epidemic, around 40,000 people per day have opened stores on Taobao, and the average age of Taobao shop owners has further decreased to 25. On average, about 1,000 new ideas take root on the platform every day," Alibaba's Chief Marketing Officer, Chris Tung, explained to reporters about the reason why this festival started the online "journey of making things". According to Tung, starting from only 108 creative shops at the first TMF, five years later, now Taobao’s creative businesses have reached a scale of more than 200,000 so that only online venue can present the full picture of Taobao’s creative ecology of the younger generation.
TMF has an exclusive innovation this year. For four days starting from today (Aug. 10), Taobao will launch its online exhibition, supported by Taobao Life, a 3D avatar-based virtual world where young creators and users could generate their avatar, tour the exhibition pavilions and interact with the virtual figures of celebrities. This year's booths revolve around six themes, including fashion, technology, food, anime and games, novel designs, cultural heritage, and curiosities.
The TMF 2020 will be held both online and offline, with a virtual exhibition plus a 20-day caravan roadshow.
Offline activities: For the first time, TMF will hit the road via the city-themed caravan across the four major cities of China, namely Hangzhou, Xi'an, Chengdu, and Wuhan, from July 30 to Aug. 23. The 3,900-kilometer tour will also include the Magical Night of Creatures at landmarks in several cities, igniting the creative passion of local youth. The tour will be broadcast live on Taobao, and the final live feed will be edited into a road movie.
Online activities: This year, the TMF has an online interactive venue, where 200,000 Taobao merchants will all participate in the festival. All the products in the festival will be recommended and selected by consumers based on Taobao's six major life trends. Live streaming, short video, 3D interaction, and other latest technology will be concentrated on one web page to display these 200,000 merchants' characters. From Aug. 10 to 13, feel free to search "Taobao Maker Festival" on the Taobao app and start the virtual shopping experience!