Asian American Commercial Watch: Northwestern Mutual’s ‘Distant Relatives’

While watching the San Francisco 49ers defeat the Seattle Seahawks, I saw this Northwestern Mutual commercial (‘Distant Relatives’):

“Someday is today. That’s the realization many people are having these days—what we’re calling The Great Realization. It’s time to finally do the things you’ve been talking about for years. Get started with a Northwestern Mutual financial advisor on your plan and spend your life living.

This Northwestern Mutual commercial is part of a series that explores how Americans from different walks of life are realizing that the things they want to do someday can’t wait any longer. There’s no better time to live the life you’ve always wanted, and our version of financial planning can help make it happen. That’s because we start with your life and priorities and design your plan so that someday can start today.”

As I have blogged before, most mixed race couples featuring an Asian American typically highlights a White Male / Asian Female (WM/AF) couple – in fact, it is still probably the most common depiction of mixed-race couples in popular culture. But in this commercial, we see an Asian Male / White Female (AM/WF) couple with a young son. It’s great to see more representation of an Asian Male / White Female (AM/WF) couple.

The premise of the commercial is that because of the COVID lockdowns in Asia (presumably China), the family, including their son, has only been able to video conference instead of visiting in-person. Now that the pandemic is presumably under control and that China is now “open” for visitors, the wife thinks that due to their financial stability due to Northwestern Mutual’s financial guidance, it’s okay now to take a big family trip to China to visit the husband’s side of the family.

Sadly enough, some of the comments on the video have a different opinion of the commercial.  One comment calls it “race mixing propaganda” while another complains about “WOKE propaganda” about “normalizing bi-racial marriage” among other conspiracy theories.

(image credits:  Northwestern Mutual)


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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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