By Charlotte McEleny, Asia Editor

January 30, 2018 | 2 min read

Alibaba Group has launched its first brand campaign as part of its 10 year partnership with the Olympics, using emotional storytelling techniques to drive awareness of its support of small businesses.

The ‘To the Greatness of Small’ campaign comprises of TV in China, digital in China, Korea, The US, UK and Japan and on the ground activation, including outdoor ads, at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, which starts in February.

The idea aims to use sports to draw links between its work with small businesses, showing how powerful small can be with the right support. In one TVC, a true story of an ice hockey team in Kenya aims to show the power of a small number of people, who go against the odds to build a sport that doesn’t sit naturally in its environment.

During the TVCs, the voice over reads: “A small character has unrivaled power. A small corner can impact the whole world. A small country’s story can inspire all humanity. From big to small, everyone is making a difference. Alibaba Group, together with the Olympic Games, gives everyone an equal chance. To the greatness of small.”

Another TVC tells a historical story of an Olympiad that stopped canoeing to let some ducks pass, while still managing to win his race.

Alibaba CMO Chris Tung, said as part of the announcement: “To the Greatness of Small’ harks back to Alibaba’s founding in 1999. “The first company Jack Ma and his fellow founders built was to help small businesses in China export their best products to the world. Then came Taobao – the largest online marketplace in the world, home to millions of small merchants who started businesses and built brands fulfill their own dreams. There are millions of people selling and half a billion people shopping on our platforms today. We have a vision to make it possible for any small business to be able to sell to consumers anywhere in the world, seamlessly.”

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