01 March 2007

Ten Things Every Brand Should Know...

... about Asian-American youth, anyway.

This is a very interesting list, which I picked up off of the Angry Asian Man blog. It was compiled by SnapDragon Consultants by actually surveying Asian-American youths aged 14-23, and released to mark the Chinese New Year.

The findings are very interesting, yet very true based on my own experiences in high school and college. Especially the part about Asian-American teens being fans of adult contemporary music - I still remember zillions of Michael Bolton and Celine Dion fans from high school. And I certainly object to "Where are you from" questions - whether I am sitting within the US or on a visit to Europe!

Here's the list.
  1. Many Asian-American youth feel excluded and misunderstood by most brands. It's made worse by the fact that they see advertisers actively wooing the African-American and Hispanic markets.
  2. Mixed race kids are proudly identifying as Hapa, a once derogatory word in Hawaiian to mean "half." Hapa is also slang for marijuana in Japanese (spelled Happa). Hapa is supplanting terms like Amerasian, biracial, and blasian.
  3. Asian-American youth are secret fans of "easy listening" adult contemporary music. Lite FM is a hidden passion.
  4. There's a "hero gap" among Asian-American kids, which is being filled for many by activists from other cultures. Martin Luther King is a role model and hero to many young Asian-Americans.
  5. Most Asian-American kids refer to white people as "white people" the same way African-Americans do.
  6. Underage gambling is huge. The "new" American poker obsession is nothing new to Asian-American kids. Gambling has a long history in Asian culture. Many students Rigg spoke with are avid online gamblers and card players. Some organize private online poker tournaments.
  7. Asian-American kids want an end to the hyper-nerdy images of themselves on TV and want to see more punked-out skater and graffiti DJ images which reflect a different energy. The feeling is: Enough with the math geeks, future doctors and violinists. Asian-American kids crave street credibility -- not just academic accolades.
  8. Asian-American kids universally hate the question: Where are you from -- especially since the answers are usually something like "Westchester" or "Boston."
  9. All things Korean are hot and getting hotter. Fashion. Foods. DJs. Online communities. Korea is the new Japan.
  10. The 15 minutes of seemingly benign American Idol fame for William Hung had a surprisingly negative effect on Asian-American students. There's a feeling that Hung perpetuated the worst stereotypes about Asian people and gave non-Asians permission to indulge in two years of racial stereotyping and mocking.
Yahoo article