Multicultural shop Admerasia wins Omnicom’s Asian storytelling PSA contest
New York-based creative shop Admerasia has won Omnicom’s “3 in 5” PSA contest, creating a public service campaign centered on the Asian American and Pacific Islander community’s shared feelings of underrepresentation in advertising and media.
Dubbed “Invisible,” the PSA campaign is aimed at changing the fact that three out of five Asian Americans—a community of roughly 19 million people—don’t feel seen or heard in U.S. advertising. “When we are indivisible, we can be visible,” the 30-second video’s narrator concludes, inviting viewers to “tell better stories.”
As the winning campaign, “Invisible” will be run by more than 35 national media partners who agreed to donate ad space for the campaign, including the Washington Post, Verizon Media, Buzzfeed and Meredith. The PSA will be distributed across various media throughout the month of May, which is also recognized as AAPI Heritage Month.
“Often an agency’s role is to be the creative voice on behalf of someone else. We were eager to share a perspective that we do not often have the opportunity to—a personal story,” says Jeff Lin, co-founder of Admerasia, which is 100% Asian-owned. “Otherness and a feeling of invisibility is something we’ve all experienced.”
Participants in the contest, led by employee resource group Omnicom People Engagement Network, were asked to create 15- and 30-second PSAs, as well as standard IAB banners and digital out-of-home elements, “to create awareness around the fact that 3 in 5 Asians feel underrepresented in the media,” according to the initiative’s brief. The winning agency will be compensated in exposure via the donated inventory.
“Admerasia won the ‘3 in 5’ challenge because their work is authentic, heartfelt and urgent,” says Daniel Oh, senior VP and creative director at Marina Maher Communications, who was one of the judges chosen to select the winner of the Omnicom-backed contest.
“They were able to paint an epic portrait of the issue of AAPI underrepresentation while keeping the tone and messaging intimate enough; and I could personally relate to it. It spoke for us all, it spoke to one; ‘3 in 5’ does take some explaining, and the PSA needs to be as clear as it is compelling,” Oh adds. “Admerasia simply did it the best.”
During the contest’s two-week entry window last month, a total of 19 PSAs created by more than 50 individuals were submitted for consideration; 16 ad agencies participated in the “3 in 5” contest, including those within and beyond Omnicom’s umbrella.
Admerasia, while independent and not owned by the holding company itself, is loosely affiliated with Omnicom and has partnered with its agencies before.
Admerasia’s team who worked on “Invisible” includes project lead Maxwell Davidson, head of strategy Selina Guo, creative lead Kaipo Leung, copywriter XiaoHwa Ng, visual effects specialist Donnie Kim and production head Henrry Sun.
In addition to opening a PSA contest, “3 in 5” has also implemented a call to action that encourages the public to pledge to stand against anti-Asian hate and to help raise awareness and visibility for the AAPI community through enhancing Asian storytelling. People can take the pledge and learn more about the contest at www.threeinfive.com.