Asian-American Youth focus of Marketing Study

By Malena Amusa Feb 14, 2007

There are several things Asian-American youth just hate and love, according to SnapDragon Consultants, a branding and consumer research firm, and artist activist Kate Rigg. Together, they conducted a supposedly sweeping survey of Asian-American students aged 14-23 asking about their feelings and dreams, Yahoo News reported today. Not-so-conclusively, they produced this list: "10 Things Every Brand Should Know About Asian Americans." No, I’m not kidding. Check it out. I really like #7 that basically trades one stereotype for another. And number the #5 News flash: Blacks and Asians call White people, well, "white people." 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. …Now that’s news for Chinese New Year and Black History Month…