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Behind eye-catching 11.11 discounts: The silent flak over Shopee’s 11.11 ad ft. Jackie Chan

Singapore – Global action star Jackie Chan was recently announced as top e-commerce Shopee’s newest ambassador in August which was launched as part of the platform’s 9.9 campaign. Shortly after, Chan makes a comeback to viewers’ screens for the platform’s 11.11 campaign

In light of the backlash from some advertising and creative professionals on Shopee’s current ad for 11.11, MARKETECH APAC reached out to social listening platform Digimind to learn about how the mass audience perceives the latest campaign. 

On October 25, just a few days after Shopee released its 11.11 ad with the international star, Singapore-based marketing expert Richard Bleasdale stirred quite a conversation on LinkedIn by sharing a post about the ad, describing it as the “worst ad ever made.” Soon, the post drew quite traction, serving as an invitation for other creative and marketing leaders to share their verdict on the ad–which was a unanimous disappointment over Shopee’s chosen creative direction.

The general audience, meanwhile, had been split on their perception of the ad. According to Digimind’s analysis, some had found the 11.11 campaign endearing, while a fraction showed displeasure over the latest campaign mixed with some neutral liking.

The main narrative of the ad in question was Jackie Chan fighting off bad guys ‘magically’ through the power of Shopee’s ‘big discounts’. For every press of the actor on his phone, discount bubbles pop up such as “$60 CASHBACK ALL DAY,” sending an enemy down and defeated. 

Shopee
Screenshots from Shopee’s latest 11.11 ad

Apparently, the negative sentiment by the mass audience drew some parallel with professional opinion, which is Shopee’s seeming failure to leverage Chan’s martial arts prowess. Following Bleasdale’s post, MARKETECH APAC formally reached out to some of the advertising professionals that commented on the post.

A consensus among the creative leaders was Shopee’s perceived faulty decision to favor a fictional story of ‘powerful’ discounts rather than spotlighting the ambassador’s renowned action-comedy branding. 

A leader from ad agency Cheil Singapore described the ad as an “orange mess,” while an advisory board member from martech DAIVID said the ad could have been an opportunity to have “some whacky martial-arts impossibility” performed by the ambassador. 

Digimind had rounded up some definitive comments which had been in agreement with the said professional flak. 

Digimind_ social mentions
Negative and neutral comments on Shopee’s 11.11 ad gathered by Digimind

One tweet said, “I guess Jackie Chan beating up people with a tap of a button is all [we’re] going to get in a Shopee ad.” 

While another wrote on Twitter, “[Jackie Chan] did a [Shopee] ad, my life is ruined.”

Other hostile comments pointed out other ‘less-than-perfect’ elements of the ad such as Chan’s seeming wrinkle-free appearance and how the ad looked like a ‘deepfake’, which is the digital alter of a person’s face. 

“I’m laughing, they [airbrushed] Jackie Chan’s wrinkles…,” one netizen tweeted.

While another one said, “Tell me why I’m so convinced that the Shopee ads with ‘Jackie Chan’ [are] [deepfakes]…” 

According to the report, there were a total of 309 mentions in Southeast Asia, excluding promotional content, about Shopee’s 11.11 ad from the period of October 17 – 31 across leading social media platforms including Facebook and Twitter. 

Digimind social mentions

The study found that Malaysia conversed the most around the campaign with 40% of the mentions coming from the market, followed by the Philippines (30%) and Indonesia (20%).

Digimind top countries

Information from the study also showed that the inaugural Shopee ambassadorship of Chan for 9.9 in August garnered higher traction on social media than the sophomore campaign of the star for 11.11. There had been a 4530% fall in the total volume of mentions for the newer campaign compared to the previous 9.9 over the same period from August 19 – 31.

Shopee’s 11.11 ad was released on YouTube on October 18 across its covered markets in Southeast Asia. Thai viewership of the ad eclipsed the platform’s other markets, registering over 39 million views as of writing.

Digimind’s analysis covered the markets of Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and India.