Seen on the Street: Singles’ Day Durex x Ali Health Pop-Up

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2:00 PM HKT, Sat November 11, 2017

While Singles’ Day isn’t just for singles — my wife, for example, was ready to pull the trigger on a Taobao list including water floss and a humidifier as soon the clock struck 12 last night — it is a chance for brands to raise awareness around issues that might disproportionately affect the young and unattached. Issues such as sexual health.

A few days ago I was walking down Gulou Dong Dajie in Beijing and passed the abandoned shell of formerly excellent music venue Mao Livehouse, and was stopped short by this arresting display of neon:

Upon further inspection I found Mao’s stage to be fully intact and still loaded with music gear, but the space was entirely taken over for a pop-up event co-sponsored by condom brand Durex and Ali Health, the medical arm of Singles’ Day’s biggest promoter, e-commerce company Alibaba.

Random passers-by like myself were encouraged to complete three simple tasks involving various Durex products (stack 20 condoms within 60 seconds, assemble a small metal structure while wearing surgical gloves smeared with KY jelly, identify the sound waves made by a mystery vibrator…) for a chance to scan a QR code at the end and potentially take one of these items home for free. I didn’t manage to win anything but hey, I applaud the effort. Enjoy yourselves (responsibly), singles!

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