Asian American Commercial Watch: Panda Express’s Five Flavor Shrimp

While watching the local evening news recently, I came across this new Panda Express commercial promoting their latest dish, Five Flavor Shrimp:

“Five quality ingredients. Five delicious flavors. Experience the moment when premium shrimp, green beans, red bell pepper and white onion come together in our five flavor sauce in our new TV spot”

I’m a big fan of shrimp, so that definitely caught my eye – especially since the dish looked simple enough for me to make at home. But what really caught my attention was the cute actress, Shavvon Lin, in the commercial as well as the catchy tune and story of the woman and her apartment neighbor missing each other – ultimately meeting at Panda Express in a light romantic comedic way.

In discovered the actress by reading some nasty comments in the YouTube comments – there’s some pretty nasty comments regarding the inter-racial nature of the commercial, especially some comments regarding Lin, and the typical rant of  the pairing of an Asian Female and White Male (AF/WM). While that is the most common inter-racial TV commercial pairing, which I’ve blogged about and putting that issue aside, I really did like this commercial on its own storytelling terms.

And for some reason, maybe because I thought that since Panda Express corporate headquarters is based in Los Angeles, I thought the scenes were shot in LA (which wouldn’t surprise me), but the commercial reminded me of the movie, 500 Days of Summer, a movie and soundtrack I really loved.

Also from the YouTube comments, I also came across that the song was written and composed by Tiff Jimber and Matt Bobb. I Shazam’d the song with my phone, but nothing came up, so I assumed the song was composed and performed specifically for the commercial.

One last thought – the actor in the commercial sort of reminded me of Tobey Maguire in the first Spider-Man (2002) movie.


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About John

I'm a Taiwanese-American and was born & raised in Western Massachusetts, went to college in upstate New York, worked in Connecticut, went to grad school in North Carolina and then moved out to the Bay Area in 1999 and have been living here ever since - love the weather and almost everything about the area (except the high cost of housing...)
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