Asian American Commercial Watch: Toyota & “Different Ads, Different Ethnicities, Same Car”

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.

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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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