Asian American Commercial Watch: Starbucks – Finding Understanding

8A-2015-01-17-StarbucksMeetMeSherylynnThis Starbucks “Meet Me” video was filmed at the Kahala Mall in Honolulu, Hawaii and features Filipina American Sherylynn’s Starbucks story. The description: “Without knowing anyone, Sherylynn went to a deaf meet up at Starbucks, where she found a new community that changed her life.”

This isn’t exactly a “commercial” (but yeah, let’s face it, it IS) — it’s part of a “brand campaign” according to AdAge:

For the global campaign, called “Meet me at Starbucks,” the coffee giant isn’t focusing on products like it normally does in its ads. Rather, it’s focusing on the brand by chronicling a day in the life of Starbucks through a mini-documentary, shot in 59 different stores in 28 countries, using 39 local filmmakers, 10 local photographers and one director coordinating it all at 72andSunny, the agency responsible for the work. Each part of the ambitious project was shot in the same 24-hour period, producing 220 hours of footage, and features various subjects — from a hearing-impaired group meeting, to a group of women discussing scrapbooking, to elderly couples to teenage friends — going about their business at Starbucks.

Asian American Commercial Watch: Vicks’ Amanda – Moms Don’t Take Sick Days

http://youtu.be/IOMKi49XMzs

Vicks_Mom_DayquilThis Vicks television commercial is a two-parter advertising both NyQuil and DayQuil, the first part portraying the dilemma for dad’s and the other for mom’s.

When I saw the the adult white male asking for a sick day, one imagines he’s in an office setting asking his boss for a sick day, the same when we see the adult Asian American female asking for a day off from her daughter. Although I’m not a parent, I’m sure all parents know that you never have a sick day when you have to take care of your kids (even when you are sick).

Saturday Night Live & Asian American Commercial Watch: Asian American Doll

In the most recent episode of Saturday Night Live, the show does quite a funny parody of a politically correct television commercial for an “Asian American Doll” – mocking many past mistakes of namely, the makers of Barbie, Mattel, for perpetuating a wide variety of bad stereotypes (including most recently this controversy: Mattel Pulls Sexist Barbie Book “I Can Be A Computer Engineer” Off Amazon).

Asian_American_Doll_SNL_2015_12_20One thing I would like to criticize though is that when a girl asks in the commercial, “Where does Asian American Doll” come from?” Instead of the Mom replying, “She comes from Asia,” I would have much preferred to have the Mom say, “Asian American Doll” was born in America or from Springfield, USA. Though statistically, the Mom is probably right (given the fact due to the last 15+ years of immigration, more than a majority of Asian Americans were born overseas).

Asian_American_I_Can_Be_President_BarbieAnd to be honest – to me, the Asian American Doll does not look all that Asian at all. And why does Asian American Doll has blue eyes? (of course, she could be wearing colored contact lenses, but most likely not). I guess SNL found the closest Asian Barbie that they could? Though doing a quick search on Amazon.com, I was pleasantly surprised to come cross a Barbie – I Can Be President Asian Doll! And if you know your U.S. constitution, you have to be born in the U.S. to become president 🙂

But overall, I thought this was a hilarious parody, poking fun at some of the past wrongs regarding Barbie stereotypes as well as the somewhat over political correctness creeping into something like making an “ethnic” doll.

Others, like Joz, didn’t find it as hilarious. “I didn’t find the sketch offensive, but I also didn’t find it funny,” she was quoted as saying to NBC News/Asian American, “Once it got going, I could see all the jokes and stereotypes before they came. Why so predictable, SNL? I guess it’s too much to ask for SNL to do anything more nuanced.”

What do you think?

Asian American Commercial Watch: ‘Office Holiday Party – Discover it Card Rewards’

DiscoverI caught this commercial Discover credit card commercial recently and found it pretty entertaining, though I’m not surprised the Asian American female office worker had dated a white male co-worker named Gary last year, but admits that he was a mistake and attributes his inappropriate behavior to get her to kiss him by hanging mistletoe above her while she’s one the phone. I just don’t understand why the woman would be calling her credit card company during the holiday party?

EDITOR’S NOTE FROM JOZ: The actors in this spot are Alice Lee and Stephanie Hsu

Asian American Commercial Watch: Zales Vera Wang LOVE Collection

vera wangI forgot when I first heard of the fashion designer Vera Wang, but I’ve mostly heard of her name associated with wedding dresses. So it came to my surprise to come across this Zales television commercial for her line Vera Wang Love diamond ring collection! By the way, I think finding the right woman is a whole lot harder than finding the right ring!

 

Asian American Commercial Watch: Manny Pacquiao in ‘Foot Locker’s Week of Greatness 2014 – It’s Happening feat’

http://youtu.be/wS8WJ6Lz1AU

mannyWe’ve blogged about the dominating Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao, and recently, he defeated Chris Algieri in a unanimous decision infront of a sold-out crowd in Macau. But here in the U.S., you can see Pacquiao in one of Foot Locker’s latest television commercials. I’m not a boxing fan at all and have never watched a boxing match or attended one live, so I had to Google exactly what Pacquiao was excited about in the commercial:

“For five long years, boxing fans have grown more and more tired of talking about “the fight,” while more casual and general sports fans care only about The Fight. At this point, Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KO) is joining the herd in just making a little fun of the situation. Foot Locker’s Week of Greatness campaign features Pacquiao thinking he got the news that he’ll be fighting [Floyd] Mayweather: It’s a fun ad, and it’s nice to laugh about the situation. Most recently, there was a story about there potentially being $1 billion in a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, which is probably a little silly, but then the whole thing is more than a little silly in 2014.”

I know boxing is popular and a big sport with big money for fights, but the idea of two boxers getting paid up to a $1 billion for a fight seems pretty ridiculous to me! In any case, I guess you have to be a boxing fan to get this, what I consider, an inside joke?

 

Asian American Commercial Watch: Jack Link’s Jerky: ‘HANGRY Moments – Lecture Hall’

http://youtu.be/erCF_vQrCvI

Jack LinkI think it is safe to say that we’ve all had moments in our life where we’ve been really hungry and our stomachs have been growling. I think Jack Link, the beef jerky company, creates a unique spin on that hunger in this commercial. Actress Joy Regullano plays a fellow test taking student in a large college lecture hall. I first became aware of Regullano in her YouTube videos spoofing ‘Yellow Fever’ recently labelled ‘White Fetish.’ Hope to see more of Regullano!

Asian American Commercial Watch: Fidelity Investments: ‘Find More: 1-Second Trade Execution’

http://youtu.be/p3acjB0DJH0

FidelityI am a Fidelity Investments customer (as well as other financial services) and saw this television commercial the other day. To be honest, I am not sure advertising the fact that Fidelity does 1-second trade executions is that much of a differentiator to really convince others to switch to Fidelity or to execute more trades. Most individual investors are not day traders, and tend to hold securities longer than your average high speed frequency trader… But nice to see an Asian American male portrayed as an every day American individual investor.

Jimmy Kimmel Mocks Oakland Mayoral Candidate Peter Liu

http://youtu.be/DNg9Mx6t91U

I live about 35 miles south of San Francisco and don’t often make it across the bay to Oakland, so I haven’t been following the Oakland mayoral race, so I was surprised to see this headline about Jimmy Kimmel mocking mayoral candidate Peter Liu:

ScreenHunter_38-Aug.-18-09.33-241x300“Oakland’s most ridiculous mayoral candidate, Peter Liu, was jabbed by comic Jimmy Kimmel Monday night for his wild take on the digital divide in Oakland. Answering a question about equal access to the Internet for the oakmayor2014.com website, Liu said: “The lesson here is this: When your son says, ‘Mommy, Daddy, I need internet access for homework,’ this really translates to: ‘I am gonna masturbate online while my parents at work yo.’” Kimmel also ripped from a Chronicle interview of Liu, where Liu says he was motivated to run, in part, by a relative who “called me a piece of sh–.””

I know current Oakland mayor, Jean Quan, is running for re-election, and is in a tight and crowded race (with 15 candidates running). My impression from watching the local news and reading the local newspapers is that Quan is not well liked and has a mixed record as mayor. One of Jimmy Kimmel’s viewers sent him a video of one not-so-serious candidate (or a candidate hard to take serious), Peter Liu.

After viewing Liu’s videotaped interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, it is a bit hard to take Liu’s ideas and bid for mayor seriously:

In essence, Liu comes across as the political version of William Hung, of American Idol ‘fame,’ or more like infamy

It’s hard to take Liu seriously when he does not have an official website, though he has provided a photo and candidate statement at www.oakmayor2014.com and has an Oakland Wiki page. But if everything in Liu’s candidate statement is true:

“Peter Y. Liu is a father, service-connected Army war veteran, insurance agent, commercial & residential real estate investor, and rags to riches self-made multimillionaire. Came to Oakland as a poor immigrant in 1987. Went through the Oakland Unified schools at Bella Vista, Edna Brewer and Oakland High. He has a bachelors from the University of California and a journalism diploma from the United States Defense Information School. … “

he’s accomplished quite a bit from humble beginnings for a young 30-something. But I’m pretty sure that Liu won’t be elected as Oakland mayor, or any public office, anytime soon.

 

 

Asian American Commercial Watch: Partnering with Khan Academy to bring you BetterMoneyHabits.com

http://youtu.be/vczXOOzdqJw

Kahn_Academy_BOA_Better_Money_HabbitsWhile watching the World Series, I saw the latest Bank of America commercial with Sal Kahn promoting  Kahn Academy and their efforts with BetterMoneyHabits.com. It has been a little over a year since I first blogged about this effort, so it’s good to see that Bank of America is continuing to promote their effort in improving financial literacy.

Asian American Commercial Watch: Aaron Takahashi in Kmart’s “Yo Mama”

8A-2014-07-18-Kmart-AaronTakahashiActor, writer Aaron Takahashi is at the tail end of this Kmart commercial. It’s crazy to think that we’re in the middle of summer, and we’re already talking about back-to-school. Usually, when I think of “layaway,” I think of the Christmas holiday season for saving up money for gifts. I most recently saw Takahashi in this Progressive Insurance commercial.

In My Inbox: Asian American Ad Watch: Banana Republic

2014_07_08_Banana_Republic_email_1

In general, I don’t like to shop for clothes. When I do shop for clothes, I do like to check out Banana Republic (though lately, I’ve been checking out Uniqlo) and do subscribe to their email list.

2014_07_08_Banana_Republic_email_2

Usually, unless there is a massive sale in the email announcement, I usually ignore and delete the email pretty quickly.

2014_07_08_Banana_Republic_email_3

But the other day, I got this email, and was kind of shocked to see only an Asian American male model highlighted in this email ad. I’m still kind of in shock. Next thing we know, we’ll see Abercrombie and Fitch doing the same thing … nah …