The brief

One of the world’s major online retailers, Alibaba creates many platforms catering to the needs and habits of an ever-expanding global customer base, steadily introducing new features and technologies along the way.

To highlight all that is new, bright and appealing about Alibaba in 2018, the client commissioned Pico to create its 400 sq. m. booth at the all-important global consumer electronics and technologies show, CES 2018 in Las Vegas.

Creative execution
The staggered geometric form of this award-winning booth gave it a standout presence whilst offering outstanding functionality. Internally the booth was largely open-plan, emphasising Alibaba’s integration into every part of daily life. Spaces devoted to each of Alibaba’s five business units were separated only by lines of light.

The booth’s ‘Discover Beyond’ theme further underlined the seamless unity of Alibaba’s services whilst allowing its business units’ flexibility in how they communicated their specialties to audiences.

Each unit therefore was developed with its own ‘Discover Beyond’ sub-theme: ‘Trade Beyond Distance’ for the B2B services; ‘Work Beyond Tradition’ for the DingTalk communications and collaboration platform; ‘Life Beyond Boundaries’ for A.I. Labs’ domestic artificial intelligence; ‘Intelligence Beyond Imagination’ for the Alibaba Cloud computing platform; and ‘Opportunity Beyond Limits’ for the Ant Financial service platform for small enterprises and consumers.

Interactive technologies were a large part of the booth’s appeal. They included several virtual reality-based activities, augmented reality interactive software, LED overhead elements, video walls, multi-touch software and transparent touchscreens.

To enable the experience to transcend the convention center itself, the team developed a livestreaming and content strategy for Facebook, YouTube and It featured interviews, previews of gadgets, suppliers and innovations, and offered viewers a novel inside look at CES.

The results
- The booth’s blend of spectacular architecture and interactive tech made Alibaba a distinctive presence among the venue’s 4,000 booths, increasing engagement among the 180,000 visitors to CES
- Attracted more than 800,000 views of livestream content on social media
- The booth made Exhibitor magazine’s ‘The Best of CES’ list of the event’s 20 most remarkable and impressive exhibits