I just saw this new Panda Express TV commercial, “Introducing Peking Pork – Breaking the Ice“:
“New Peking Pork from Panda Express is peking your appetite with crispy pork chop bites, hand- cut peppers and white onion, wok-tossed in a sweet and sour glaze. It’s American Chinese comfort food that’s made to satisfy in any situation.”
It surprisingly stars Wong Fu Productions’ Philip Wang. I think this is the first time I’ve seen Wang star in a TV commercial. Also, I think this is the first Asian Male / Hispanic Female pairing in a commercial ever. Additionally, I wonder if we’ll start to see more of Wang in TV commercials, then television and then movies (like how Randall Park’s career progressed).
The premise of the TV commercial is that Wang plays the Asian American boyfriend who is bringing Panda Express takeout to his Hispanic girlfriend’s home. The woman’s father is not exactly that friendly – until Wang offers (or is “breaking the ice”) some Peking Pork for the father to try. After that, the father lets down his protective guard.
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Krystal Sital’s debut memoir, Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad, is an intimate and powerful memoir about three generations of her family — their stories, their traumas, their secrets, and their relationship to the author’s grandfather. Eloquently written and deeply personal, Sital dives deep into her own history, the contradictions, and the troublesome relationships between men and women that powerfully shaped her grandmother and then her mother’s lives on the island they were all born on.
Trinidad is our fears and our loves. There we discovered our beings, we dug deep and planted our roots assuming we would never leave, sucking on the armored cascara with its silver-plaited shell, devouring the sweet flesh beneath, the only fish the legend says ties you to the land forevermore, smacking our lips when we were done. We never thought we would have to leave this place . . . But in the end we chose to flee.
A story of diaspora and migration, it is also about family and obligations and culture and tradition. Their flaws and freedoms. Shiva Singh, the author’s grandfather and a wealthy Hindu landowner, is the circle around which much of the book revolves. As he lies in a hospital in New Jersey, Sital watches her mother and grandmother cope with the decisions of his care. It leads to a slow unraveling of her mother’s story, of her childhood, her relationship with the man lying prone in a hospital bed undergoing weeks of surgery. A brutal past full of trauma, beatings, and terror.
A recent New York Times article covers Toyota’s marketing efforts:
Companies have developed commercial campaigns aimed at minority groups for years, often in conjunction with specialized ad agencies. But Toyota’s efforts show how major companies are adjusting their marketing tactics as the nation’s demographics shift.
Some wonder, though, if these kind of specialized ads are even needed when the country’s population is getting more diverse.
“You see a real blending and a more progressive acknowledgment that there is significant diversity” in mainstream advertising, said Shalini Shankar, a professor at Northwestern University and the author of the book “Advertising Diversity.” Still, she said, “it doesn’t hurt to have more stuff that acknowledges that race is real.”
For Toyota and Asian American consumers, this is what was reported:
“In the commercial titled “Captivating,” a Chinese-American father picks his daughter up from baseball practice in a red Camry. She is focused on her tablet in the backseat until he turns Pandora on. As the music kicks up and the engine revs, both of their faces light up.
The ad is from interTrend, a Long Beach, Calif., agency that specializes in marketing to Asian-Americans. It is the only Camry broadcast spot to focus on a father and daughter. The father was specifically cast to “highlight a not-often-seen behavior,” said Julia Huang, interTrend’s chief executive, who is Taiwanese-American.
“Traditionally, Asian fathers show less emotion and affection toward their kids,” Ms. Huang said. “We wanted to show that driving the Camry brought out a different side of an Asian dad and how he wanted to share the experience with his daughter.”
I think that maybe 1st generation Asian fathers show less emotion and affection toward their kids, but for those born-and-raised in the U.S., I think the opposite is true. I see this with my brother and his daughters. Though I think most dads who are driving their kids are fairly conservative drivers…
I found the same exact commercial on Toyota’s YouTube channel with an Indian American family instead:
I’m always interested to see how commercials are shot, and re-shot or footage reused. Same exact commercial but definitely catching the eye of its intended audience as well as the general public.
Fresh Off the Boat, Season 4, Episode 17: “Let Me Go, Bro”
Original airdate February 27, 2018.
Synopsis: Eddie stuns his family when he announces he’s to be inducted into the National Honor Society. Evan isn’t surprised, but he’s furious with Eddie for not thanking him. Evan has secretly been supporting his brother’s good efforts because he’d like to visit him “at Stanford, not prison.” When Eddie says he doesn’t need Evan’s help, Evan schemes to set Eddie up for failure. Jessica, still getting notes from her editor for A Case of a Knife to the Brain, goes on a ride-along with police officer Bryson, in order to make her police language more realistic. She’s disappointed when Bryson’s work seems mostly to involve getting coffee and helping citizens bag their dog poop. Kenny Rogers tells Louis he’s going to sell back his half of Kenny Rogers’s Michael Bolton’s Cattleman’s Ranch, now dubbed Kenny O’Rogers’s Michael O’Bolton’s Cattleman’s O’Ranch in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. Louis is overjoyed, but Kenny Rogers tells him he has to fire Matthew Chestnut, with whom Louis has developed a close friendship.
Know When To Hold ‘Em: Awww. We get a major, massive dose of Nice Guy Eddie, plus Evan in kind of a cute not-so-psycho-but-still-intense mode. Emery gets to play the amused observer, a role that suits him. I really like the way Emery’s character is growing. You’d like it if your daughter wanted to date him. Jessica gets to do some physical comedy that works well for her (including a textbook faint). And as I’ve said recently, Louis directing his energies for someone else’s benefit is one of the better Louises.
“Hey. I still need you. Do you want to make me pancakes or something?” (Emery to Evan)
“The Saturn is where we talk when things get real, and he said he wanted to make sure our safe space stayed safe.” (Nicole to Evan, about Eddie)
Know When To Fold ‘Em: This is just far too big a role for Bryson, who’s okay as a very minor character but annoying in anything larger. I’ve been glad to be rid of Mitch at Kenny Rogers’s Michael Bolton’s Cattleman’s Ranch, but Matthew Chestnut has been an equally irritating replacement. I would have welcomed his firing, but Louis keeps him aboard, which likely means we’re not through with him yet. Bleah.
FOB moment: Didn’t spot one this time. Did you?
Soundtrack flashback: “Insane in the Membrane” by Cypress Hill (1993), the second time this song has been used on FOtB. “The Gambler” by Kenny Rogers (1978).
Final grade, this episode: Did anyone else think this had the feel of a series (not season) finale? If they cancel FOtB tomorrow, and this is the last we see of the Huangs, it would be a good note on which to part. I love Eddie in this, and I like the overall vibe of the whole episode. There’s a lot of vulnerability going on, and the actors are there for it. I’m pleased to see a strong episode that’s not one of my issues episodes! A-minus.
Kim Fu’s latest novel The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore is a gripping tale about a group of teenage girls at summer camp who set off for a fateful kayaking trip. Opening at Camp Forevermore, the novel then jumps through time and perspective, following the girls into their futures, but always returning to camp and that trip. Slowly, Fu offers more and more details about the moment that acts as the gravitational center of the novel. What exactly happened that summer?
Every chapter reveals something intriguing about human nature, closely following each of the five girls. What happens to a group of girls left alone in the woods? When everything is stripped away and survival is at stake who will they become? And as adults, how will this one moment, one night at summer camp, affect the rest of their lives? How will they handle the experience and the darkness of their choices? Some will be happy, others will be tortured. In each, Fu weaves a masterful story about rebuilding, redefining, yet being built and defined by this singular moment and the choices made during it. Small pieces of the camp story are told. Then we fast forward to one girl’s future. For Nita, Fu unravels a tale of motherhood. For Isabel, of marriage and loss. With The Lost Girls, you don’t always know where you’re going, but you know you want to go wherever Fu is taking you.
“Don’t worry. She’ll be okay. You would be surprised what children can forget.” Nita stirred. In defiance, she wanted to hold on to this memory. The plastic chairs, the strangers’ voices. But she felt it slipping away form her even as it happened, becoming clouded with sleep and doubt.
This year, I was particularly interested since after watching the movie The Post (about The Washington Post and its reporting of the Pentagon Papers, which was leaked by Daniel Ellsberg), the keynote speaker this year was was Daniel Ellsberg, who apparently lives in Northern California.
Ellsberg did not disappoint! Ellsberg’s keynote was I thought, very thought provoking, discussing that the Trump America we know today existed before Trump was elected. Ellsberg also thought that if there was another “9/11” event that there would be indeed Muslim concentration and deportation camps. Ellsberg said the events of Charlottesville with the white supremacist and Trump and Trump’s administrations’ racist attitudes and that a very large fraction of America is actually represented by Trump. Some may want just jobs, and not all are racists, homophobes, misogynists, etc… it is not 1% There are a lot of contradictions in American, like the first 11 out of 15 presidents of the United States owned slaves, 8 of them while they were president.
The whole program in the video includes:
I first heard that Olympic Gold medalist in halfpipe snowboarding Chloe Kim made the cover of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes while watching an interview with her on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon, and then later, finding the press release:
“To celebrate Chloe Kim’s Gold Medal win with Team USA at the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018, Kellogg’s® has announced that she will be featured on Gold Medal edition boxes of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes®. Boxes are available in limited quantities for a short time only on KelloggsFamilyRewards.com.
The Gold Medal Edition Kellogg’s Corn Flakes cereal box is available on KelloggsFamilyRewards.com, while supplies last. Fans can visit KelloggsFamilyRewards.com for information about how to become a member and order their very own collectible box.”
But I was disappointed to not only learn that this special edition box was only available online, but was already sold out:
“On Wednesday night, the Chloe Kim “Gold Medal” box was announced on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and became available online. It sold out in seven hours, according to Sam Minardi, director of brand marketing at Kellogg Company. “That is a record,” Minardi said in an email.”
I wonder why Kellogg decided to only make this available online! I mean, Nathan Chen’s box made it into retail, and he didn’t even medal (though he was expected to …)
Congratulations to brother-and-sister duo Maia and Alex Shibutani on winning the Bronze in the 2018 Winter Olympics for Ice Dancing. No doubt, if you’ve been watching the Winter Olympics, you’ve seen this ad, which really doesn’t seem like an ad, highlighting the sibilings’ journey to the Olympics:
“Minute Maid is proud to support Maia and Alex Shibutani on their journey to The Olympic Winter Games. The siblings and teammates know a thing or two about healthy competition, but they also know that the best moments – both on and off the rink – are often shared. Cheers to the #ShibSibs“
I had noticed recently that the Shib Sibs had posted a YouTube video seeing for themselves for the first time on some Minute Maid cartons:
So I wound up going to my local grocery store to check out the Minute Maid cartons. However, I could only find three out of the four that they mentioned:
I wonder what the 4th carton is?!?
Also, I had noticed that Intel was one of their sponsors as well, when I noticed on Facebook, Intel congratulating them:
I knew that Intel was an Olympic sponsor, given that they powered the Drone exhibition during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics.But I didn’t know that Intel had sponsored any athletes. But a quick Google search came across this press release listing their sponsored Intel athletes (which I thought was kind of an oxymoron …):
It’s interesting that Intel sponsors non-U.S. athletes, but then again, they are a global company with global customers.
Again, congrats to the Shibutanis on winning the Bronze!
While watching the Olympics, I saw this United TV commercial and was surprised to see U.S. figure skater Nathan Chen, since I wasn’t aware that United was one of his sponsors, unlike Kellogg’s, Bridgestone and John Wilson. The super hero-themed commercial itself is a little bit weird if you ask me:
Helping superheroes fly for 38 years. Proud to fly Team USA.
Also, on United’s YouTube channel, they even have a 60 second “origin” video which discusses how Chen got into figure skating:
Congrats to Nathan Chen on his historic performance at the 2018 Winter Olympics!
You know faster is better. We’ve got a faster way to pay. You don’t have to be an Olympic snowboarder like Chloe Kim to shave seconds off your time at checkout. Tap to pay like a champion with your contactless Visa card where you see the Contactless Symbol. #PyeongChang2018 #TeamVisa
I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of Chloe Kim now that she’s an Olympic Gold winner in the halfpipe! Congrats again Chloe – hope to meet you one day!
Although I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area since 1999, I only started following the NBA and the Golden State Warriors since they signed Jeremy Lin, and after Lin left – with the rise of Stephen Curry. On a demographic percentage basis, the San Francisco Bay Area probably has the largest Asian and Asian American population for any given NBA market – the 2010 census put’s that figure at 23.3%. And we also know that the NBA is huge in China:
“Under Xi, the government has poured money into investments designed to transform China into a soccer superpower on par with Brazil. Yet the National Basketball Association remains by far China’s most popular sports league. According to one recent study that measured online engagement, the NBA is six times more popular in China than the three largest European soccer leagues combined. During the 2017 NBA Finals, more than 190 million Chinese streamed the games on their mobile devices. By contrast, in the U.S., each Finals game averaged 20.4 million viewers, and an additional 430,000 live-streamers.”
So it’s no surprise that the Golden State Warriors and the NBA try to appeal to these fans, and no surprise again that the Warriors reveal a new Chinese heritage uniform:
The 2017 NBA Champion Golden State Warriors will wear Chinese Heritage alternate uniforms for select games during the 2017-18 season as a nod to the strong Chinese culture in the Bay Area, the team announced today. The Warriors will first wear the Chinese Heritage alternate uniforms at home on Thursday, January 25th vs. Minnesota when the team plays the Timberwolves at home. Chinese Heritage merchandise, including hats, shirts and sweatshirts, is available now at warriors.com and will be available at the Warriors Team Store tonight, while Chinese Heritage alternate jerseys for every player on the roster is available for presale at warriors.com.
The Warriors are wearing the Chinese Heritage uniform for the following games:
I’m wouldn’t be surprised if these are sold in China as well.
When I saw a friend post a photo of her young son with a box of Corn Flakes with Nathan Chen on the cover of the box, I knew I had to see it for myself! Apparently, Kellogg’s thought Chen’s chances of Chen making it to the U.S. Olympic Team was very high, since this was announced last October: “Meet The U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hopefuls Who Will Make Up Team Kellogg’s 2018”:
Meet the Team Kellogg’s athletes here and follow the evolution of their stories as they share what gets them started each day. Additionally, the athletes will be featured on their very own Kellogg’s limited-edition cereal boxes, available at grocery retailers nationwide in December.
Reigning 2017 U.S. men’s figure skating champion Nathan Chen focuses on small steps each day in order to attain his larger goals. Whether he sets his sights on lifting more weight or working on choreography during training, he knows that he is one step closer to his dream by accomplishing his daily goals. Nathan will appear on boxes of Corn Flakes®.
When I saw a Facebook friend post “CHEN-SANITY” (as in “LINSANITY”) when Chen won the Gold for the 2018 Championships U.S. Figure Skating Men’s Single and named to the 2018 U.S. Olympic Figure Skating Team, I thought I should try to make “CHENSANITY” a thing (without the hyphen – I don’t think LINSANITY was ever hyphenated!
Especially since there is another Chen representing the United States in U.S. Figure Skating – Karen Chen! I hope some cereal company puts Karen on the cover of their box in the near future – with her with an Olympic Gold!
But Kellogg’s is not the only sponsor Nathan Chen has. When I was walking around SAP Center in San Jose during the 2018 Championships (“Nationals”), I saw this Bridgestone cutout of him:
Chen is indeed a part of “Team Bridgestone.”
And to no one’s surprise, Nathan Chen apparently endorses ice skates – by the brand, John Wilson:
Best of luck with Chen in the Olympics!