Silent No More. Immediate Actions that Brands Can Take to Help #StopAsianHate

Stop Asian Hate

The Asian American community is outraged, devastated, and fearful after the killing spree in Atlanta that took the lives of eight innocent people, six of whom were Asian women. The victims’ names are Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Young A. Yue, 63; Suncha Kin, 69; Soon C. Park, 74; and most recently identified, Hyun Jung Grant, mother of two sons. It feels important to say their names. Families have been destroyed, and the possibility haunts millions across the nation, “it could have just as easily been my loved ones or me.” With a 150% increase of hate crimes targeting Asian Americans, that concern is justified.

One issue that continues to be voiced within the Asian American community is the shame and frustration surrounding identity. To be forced to consider hiding who we are or bending our heads in submission, not go outside, not to speak our languages – is this our future, to live a half-life? Does standing strong mean putting ourselves in harm’s way? Hate has found an excuse to simmer over the top as blame placed on the Asian community for the spread of coronavirus continues to grow across the U.S.

Imagine the anger and strength it would have taken for the brave 76-year-old Xiao Zhen Xie to fight back against her attacker despite being physically assaulted in broad daylight. While we hail her for her courage, her bruises are a glaring reminder of the deep-seated hate that has resided in America’s dark underbelly for generations.

In addition to these violent attacks, disproportionate financial hardships resulting from the loss of jobs and businesses have also been a painful reality for the Asian American segment. Asian-owned businesses have lost 50% to 70% of revenue since the pandemic. The segment faced the largest share of long-term unemployment rates, i.e., for at least 27 weeks, compared to all ethnic groups in the fourth quarter of 2020. Roughly 25% of the Asian American segment works in hardest-hit sectors like retail, hospitality, leisure, and other services such as salons and dry cleaners.

The Asian American community is looking for actions from brands to help fight hate crime and support the community. Words of support from brands are essential but not enough. Long-term commitments to back the Asian community, its businesses, and people are missing – commitments that entail much more than celebrating the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month once a year.

Here are three ways through which you can take decisive steps to make a real difference.

  1. ADVOCACY. Hollow words speak volumes. Supporting the Asian American community long-term through advocacy and action is essential.
  • Donations: Brands can create their charitable program to fund the struggling Asian-owned businesses, similar to Hennessy’s Unfinished Business. Alternatively, brands can also help fund Asian-owned organizations fighting against racist rhetoric or rebuilding and supporting businesses and other parts of Asian communities particularly hit by the pandemic. Some of the organizations are listed below:
    • Stop AAPI Hate: This nonprofit, created in March 2020, tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying.
    • Asian Pacific Fund: Provides grants for senior and youth services, health and well-being, counseling, legal services, advocacy, civic engagement, and arts and culture.
    • Asian Americans Advancing Justice: An organization dedicated to building a more fair and equitable society through education, litigation, and public policy advocacy.
    • Heart of Dinner: Works to combat food insecurity and isolation within NYC’s elderly Asian American community.
    • National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum: The organization is mobilizing and building power in 14 cities across the United States to create social, political, and economic change for AAPI women and girls.
  • Public awareness campaign: Think beyond a one-off support message on social media. Instead, dedicate resources and airtime to work with community organizations and agencies to create assertive communication that inspires others to follow. An example is the Love Has No Labels campaign launched by the Ad Council. It promotes acceptance and appreciation of all communities regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality, age, and ability by raising awareness for implicit biases.
  1. EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT. Corporate employees are not a passive audience. With proper education and awareness, they can potentially champion the cause, and further spread the message within their respective communities and circles. Establishing an internal allyship through a transparent and authentic content repository, one on one sessions, and frequent group discussions can bring to light a deeper context to ongoing anti-Asian sentiments and how to address them. Some of the pivots to employee content can include the following
  • Historical Context: Understand the history of Asian Americans through personal stories and how these journeys have shaped their perspectives on their roles in this country.
  • Quashing Prevalent Stereotypes: Talk about racial biases, misconceptions, and cultural appropriation that hurt the community.
  • Safe Space to Speak: Create a platform for the Asian American workforce to voice their concerns, challenges, and fears freely.
  • How to Protect Yourself: Provide a guide on tackling a potentially threatening situation and or racial attacks in the most effective way.
  • Bystander Intervention Program: Provide a guide to playing a role in creating a safe public space when witnessing harassment.
  1. INCLUSION IN ACTION. The change we speak of can only happen if organizations readjust their frame of reference towards the Asian community. The actions brands take to normalize diversity and Asian representation in company business and operation are critical steps in building a long-term and sustainable diversity strategy.
  • Supplier Diversity: Increase visibility and representation of Asian-owned suppliers and partners.
  • Marketing Communication: Aside from increasing Asian American representation in general market communication, there is a pressing need to invest in understanding segment motivations and desires. The pandemic has changed Asian lives in more ways than expected, and the community is hurting. Hearing their voice and tailoring communication that meets their practical and emotional needs will go a long way to building brand perception and loyalty.

All things considered, fighting the systemic prejudice against the Asian American community is an uphill battle that requires continued support from the government, brands, and people. It is not going to be easy but let’s work together to make a start.

Jeff Lin

Cofounder&
ADMERASIA
Jeffl@admerasia.com

Racism Is Contagious by ADMERASIA – a platform that provides consolidated, impactful tools to combat the spread of hate crimes against the Asian American community. Visit https://racismiscontagious.com/ to learn more.

[R]EVOLUTION by ADMERASIA – a platform that connects brands with Asian American innovators and gamechangers rewriting the rules for social advocacy, content creation and entertainment. Visit www.admerasia.com/revolution to know more.

Where is the Support from Brands During this
Dark Lunar New Year?


Lunar New Year is undoubtedly one of the most significant cultural festivals among Asian Americans. But this year’s community celebration that is traditionally accompanied with cheer and joy, is now filled with frustration, fear, and anger.

In Chinatowns and other Asian-populated neighborhoods across the nation, many local small businesses have lost 50% to 70% of revenue since the onset of the pandemic and subsequent rise of xenophobia. Improvement and recovery measures have moved at achingly slow paces. To add to the pain felt by economic decline, anti-Asian racism has intensified. In less than a month, a series of astonishing anti-Asian hate crimes happened across the country, targeting our most vulnerable. Surveillance footage caught a 91-year-old Asian man brutally shoved to the concrete sidewalk in Oakland, CA. Noel Quintana, a 61-year-old Filipino man had his face slashed ear to ear in a NYC subway. A 52-year-old Asian woman was attacked outside a busy subway station in Flushing, Queens. She received multiple stitches on her head. Her assault was one of three separate and unrelated attacks targeting Asian women on NYC’s subway system in a single day. This list goes on. 

Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Asian man was murdered in San Francisco. 

The violence didn’t happen overnight. Ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian Americans have been scapegoated for spreading the coronavirus, perpetuated by hate-filled rhetoric like “China-Virus” and “Kung-Flu”. The Asian American community quickly became targets. At least 3,000 anti-Asian incidents have been reported since last February 2020 in the U.S. In NYC alone, there was a shocking 867% increase of anti-Asian hate crime in 2020 compared to 2019. But, for the most part, these incidents went unnoticed by mainstream media.   

It was the Asian American community itself that broke the silence. Outraged by the violent attacks against Asian seniors, Asian American celebrities Daniel Wu and Daniel Dae Kim, influencers like fashion designer Phillip Lim, and Instagram’s director of fashion Eva Chen, took to social media to call for action against hate crimes. A community-led volunteer group was quickly formed after a string of attacks in Oakland, CA, to escort Asian seniors. A group of Asian American chefs and restaurant owners in NYC teamed up to donate meals during Lunar New Year and raise awareness about anti-Asian hate crime through online fundraising campaigns. 

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Asian American creative community has been committed to driving awareness of anti-Asian racism. Influencer platform ISA transformed its annual concert to Identity with Unity, an online fundraising event. Racism Is Contagious, a heat map of anti-Asian hate crime, was launched through the collaboration between advertising agency ADMERASIA, media platform NextShark, non-profit organization Act to Change and other community groups. Asian rapper group Year of the Ox rolled out songs, such as Viral, to raise public awareness. 

During this unprecedented struggle, while the Asian community has rallied to help, the corporate world has been largely muted. So far, only a handful of brands have shown support. Hennessy, among the first to take action, made a statement condemning the recent hate crimes and donated $250,000 as part of its Lunar New Year virtual celebration to Unfinished Business, the brand’s initiative that provides immediate relief and long-term support to minority-owned businesses. They also made a donation to Hate Is A Virus, a nonprofit community of mobilizers and amplifiers that exists to dismantle racism and hate. Other like Nike and ESPN have also responded through social posts with the hashtag #StopAsianHate.

Corporate brands, with power and influence, wield a pendulum of clout. When a minority group faces brutal attacks and racism, the responsibility of raising public awareness and demanding social justice by brands is critical. It’s the difference between being heard and being silenced. It isn’t only industry peers that insist upon active allyship from brands. 60% of Americans say that how a brand responds to racial injustice will influence whether they buy (or boycott) the brand. Millennials and Gen Z, the most racially diverse generations in American history, have high expectations for their brands, far exceeding those of generations before.

From fashion and music to education and finance, the Asian American community has been an intrical part of the U.S. economy, art and entertainment. We have been your customers. We have been your creators. We have been your advocates. Now, we ask for your support. Stand up for the Asian American community. 

It’s time, let’s talk.


Jeff Lin
Cofounder&
ADMERASIA
jeffl@admerasia.com

Working to Heal Communities: ADMERASIA & NextShark Connect Businesses to Donators & Volunteers

COVID-19’s impact across the nation has laid bare the cracks in every system; from healthcare and education to law enforcement and small-business.

In March of 2020, the sudden escalation of xenophobic racial targeting prompted ADMERASIA to collaborate with organizations and businesses nationwide to start Racismiscontagious.com, a tool designed to aggregate & visualize & address the rise in incidents of hate perpetuated against Asian Americans.

Now, Asian Americans and their fellow BIPOC community members, are facing another round of hardship. Businesses damaged during fallout of nationwide protests have left many families, already struggling, with staggering losses to their finances.

ADMERASIA & NextShark (a partner on the Racism is Contagious website) have teamed up again, developing an interactive mapping system designed to intake data from fundraising campaigns for negatively-impacted small businesses.

The map gathers data from fundraisers and local organizations whose goals are to support businesses, including those added to NextShark’s business donation list. In order to better visualize the small businesses affected, ADMERASIA included tabs to find which states and cities the businesses belong to. There is also a tab to direct those looking to donate or volunteer at a BIPOC business in need of help.

If you are a colleague in the marketing and advertising industry who wishes to use their power to extend the reach of this initiative, or a business that is looking to connect with its community, please reach out to us. The country is in need of healing, and it’s all hands on deck.

For more information, contact:

XiaoHwa Sydney Ng
xiaohwan@admerasia.com

Digital Strategist&
Activist&
Word Enthusiast

Asian Americans Unite Against Hate with Racism is Contagious

 

As the COVID-19 virus spreads, Asian Americans have experienced an increase in verbal and physical assaults. Racism is Contagious, a platform that aims to centralize, unify and visualize data associated with the rise of hate and violence targeting against Asian Americans, launched on April 6th. Formed by organizations and companies across the nation, its mission is to create a publicly accessible resource to combat the rise of hate crimes and aggressions towards the Asian American community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In doing so, our ultimate ambition is to build out a real-time data and analysis community tool that can help identify flare-up zones that will encourage more direct action from law enforcement through this publicly accessible resource. We want people to feel seen, feel safe and see change happen.” – Jeff Lin, CEO ADMERA&IA.

Joining with ADMERA&IA in this mission are media platform NextShark, social movement #HATEISAVIRUS, digital collective International Secret Agents, and a number of other entities; building a singular, united voice.

Racism is Contagious hosts a data analysis dashboard that generates real-time statistics utilizing the same backend technology used to track the global spread of COVID-19. The platform is bilingual, hosted in English and Chinese. Additional languages will be added.

“If you, or a loved one, has experienced an act of racism or bigotry we encourage you to come forward. Your privacy will be respected and we want you to know, you are not alone.” – Tammy Cho, #HATEISAVIRUS

“With the sharp rise of racism and discrimination toward Asian Americans in the last few weeks, we feel that it is important to help document these incidents with the hope of advancing causes within our community. I’m honored to be working alongside some incredible leaders.” – Benny Luo, NextShark

www.racismiscontagious.com will be aggregating through media partners and researchers. The site also encourages individuals to submit their incident reports through the Stop AAPI Hate form, hosted by A3PCON and Chinese for Affirmative Action.

“It is the most robust source of data active in the space, and we want to support, not detract from the ongoing efforts of Professor [Russell] Jeung and their team,” – Max Davidson, CIO ADMERA&SIA 

The platform is also forming new coalitions that will help push the campaign further, adding educational and informative resources for victims. If interested in connecting, please contact info@racismiscontagious.com.

 

#HateIsContagious: Now is the Time to Stand Together

“HATE’S the most contagious and these days it’s going VIRAL”. Our friends, Year of the OX, shine a light on the discrimination and racism currently facing Asian Americans. Scared to leave their homes, not only because of the virus, but because of the onslaught of racially motivated violent attacks and harassment. Like YOX says, this is not a new issue but one that has long festered in our communities.

NOW IS THE TIME TO STAND TOGETHER.

Speak your truth.
Move the conversation forward. #HateIsContagious
Cure it.

ADMERASIA stands by the Asian American community. Join us.

ADMERASIA’s Yashica Dutt, Author of Coming Out Dalit, Comes Home

Yashica Dutt, ADMERASIA’s Associate Creative Director, is back from her book tour! Dutt published her groundbreaking book, Coming Out Dalit, a non-fiction memoir about caste and its systemic impact on India and Indian communities across the globe, in 2019. Since then, her contribution to civil rights continues to grow.

Dutt on the Jaipur Lit Fest panel

A TOUR THROUGH INDIA

After weeks abroad in India and various U.S. cities, Dutt returned to us with many stories to tell.

In India, Dutt attended the Jaipur Literary Festival, one of the world’s largest lit fest, and the Kolkata Literary Meet. Dutt was featured on numerous panels at both events.

Dutt at the Kolkata Lit Meet

The Harvard India Conference on a panel on Caste and Media

The tour continued to various cities including Mumbai and Delhi. Dutt had the pleasure of speaking to several students at colleges and universities.

BACK IN THE STATES

Back in the U.S., Dutt attended a panel on Caste and Media at the Harvard India Conference, and another one the same day at MIT.

“It’s been rewarding, eye opening and in many ways one of the most defining experiences of my life,” says Dutt.

We are proud to have Yashica Dutt on our team.

Lunar New Year 2020 Rat Like You Mean It

“… Win. Win. Win. No matter what.”-DJ Khaled

Sometimes the winner isn’t the fastest, strongest or biggest. To everyone that’s got the grit to make it happen this year. Go forth and prosper.

The ADMERASIA Team

 

Original artwork by
Shane Kuo
ADMERASIA ILLUSTRATOR

A Letter from our Co-Founder

Fellow film geeks:

I had a chance to see Awkwafina in The Farewell this weekend and it was just another (tear-jerking) reminder that Asian Americans are on a roll. Starting with last year’s Crazy Rich Asians on the big screen, the roster continues to grow: NBC’s A Little Late with Lilly Singh, the much-anticipated Mulan, and Marvel’s Shang-Chi, starring the first-ever Asian lead for the franchise.

The rise of Asian cultural movements is piquing the interest of people everywhere. We are often asked by clients and colleagues, “can an ad segmented for Asian Americans also play in general market?” The answer is an emphatic, “yes”. Whether it be cosplay, cricket, e-sports, foodies, nerd-life, or lux-life, we enjoy finding the subtle, yet impactful, ways humans find common ground. It is a nuanced balancing act – supplying the authenticity of our core heritage and culture while communicating in a universal voice.

 

Speaking of action movies, we’ve also been dabbling in the realm of superheroes. Our latest TVC campaign featured Asian American cosplayers in full warrior gear. I can’t help but admit I got a thrill out of being a part of a project that has Asian Americans representing heroic and strong characters – even when it’s rubber swords and replica helmets. Asians & Asian Americans are finally getting the roles and recognition they have long deserved. It’s about time.

And we’ve been rewarded with success. We’ve run our campaigns in theaters nationwide in front of Spider-man: Far from Home, on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, and on live-streaming platform, Twitch. The Asian American story CAN be anyone’s story.

Admerasia proclaims itself as an “&” agency. We do more than ad. We connect.

 

I’ve come to embrace the &. I started off life as a boy, as Chinese. I grew into an immigrant, an American. Sometimes it felt like I had to choose between my identities, that they were in conflict. But as I grew, instead of cutting things out of my life, I added to the list of the things that made me who I am. I &.

This & approach to life is how we operate here at Admerasia. Barriers, lanes, human constructs – we do not adhere to. We do not believe our stories are limited. We do not believe our voices stop at the borders of Chinatown or Jersey City. We do believe in &. It’s that foundational belief that carries our ads across continents, into your home.

I hope this tale of Awkwafina & Identity & Brand Craft has inspired you to put a little & into your day. Limits aren’t for us. We can be Asian & American & Asian American.

See you at the movies.

 

Jeff Lin
Co-Founder of Admerasia&
Soccer Enthusiast&
Wine Collector.

 

Admerasia Takes Home Gold and Silver at 3AF

At this year’s Asian American Advertising Federation (3AF) Marketing Summit in Los Angeles, Admerasia swept up TWO Creative Campaign of the Year awards: State Farm’s Asian TV commercial “Smart Living” was awarded Gold, while Twin Marquis’ web series “Yum Chat” took home Silver.

Julia Kang, Account Director, spoke on behalf of Admerasia, “It’s a true honor to be recognized from the 3AF organization as we continue to tell impactful stories that can empower and positively influence the Asian American community and beyond. We constantly strive and hustle to think outside of the box and explore bold ideas for our market to become part of a greater conversation.”

Congratulations to our team and partners at State Farm and Twin Marquis. We could not be more proud!

Admerasia Speaks at Asia Society Summit

The 2019 Diversity and Marketing Leadership Summit, hosted by Asia Society, was an enlightening and educational exploration on the ascending Asian American consumer. We learned so much from trailblazing leaders in business including those women who push back on the ceiling. One of the reoccurring takeaways from the summit was diversity – learning the nuances that every culture and people express which will create more authentic connections. Try something, take bold steps, use failure as a learning tool, and lead in trends, not follow.

As the grand finale of the two days festivities, our co-founder, Jeff Lin, moderated panel, Women Executive Leadership: The Power and Rise of the Asian Consumer: Transforming the Way We Do Business with Jennifer Hsieh, Marriot International, Chloe Lim, Facebook Singapore, and Tina Mahal, PepsiCo.Our. The panel discussed such topics as breaking through both Asian and American barriers, the staggering buying power of Asian American consumers, and where we’re headed in the future. They enjoyed their discussion over a bottle of Art Bus Red from woman-owned, La Sirena Wines, who’s owner, Heidi Barrett, is one of California’s leading local winemakers.

We are incredibly grateful to Asia Society for having us and look forward to more collaboration in the years to come.

Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future.