How marketers are responding to surging AAPI hate crimes: A live blog
The ad world is responding to the hate crimes against the Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander communities following shootings in Asian massage parlors in Atlanta that left eight people dead. These horrific events are the latest in a surge in violence against the AAPI community since the start of the pandemic, spurred by misplaced fear and anger over COVID-19.
Below is a live blog tracking responses from brands, media companies and agencies as they take a stand against racism and social injustice.
We also invite you also to read our previous blogs documenting industry responses to racial injustice in 2020:
• “A regularly updated blog tracking brands' responses to racial injustice”
• “How brands and agencies responded to racial injustice in the first month following George Floyd's death”
April 6, 2021
2:38 PM EDT
Yelp launches new feature to help identify and support Asian-owned small businesses
In an effort to help drive customers to small businesses owned and operated by members of AAPI communities in the U.S., Yelp unveiled a new built-in attribute on its platform that allows Asian American entrepreneurs to publicly identify their shops and restaurants as Asian-owned. The move comes as Yelp’s new Economic Impact Report, also released today, shows a 130% uptick in searches for Asian-owned businesses in February 2021 compared to that same period last year, indicating consumers are all-in to back Asian American communities that have been experiencing a rash of racial harassment and violence since the outbreak of COVID-19.
The new AAPI initiative, created in partnership with Asian American nonprofit Gold House, mirrors a similar move undertaken by Yelp last summer that allowed Black-owned small businesses to self-identify as such, following a surge in demand that largely began to swell after the May 2020 murder of George Floyd. And in addition to that identification feature, Yelp plans to double-match employee contributions to “select Asian American and Pacific Islander-serving organizations that are fighting to stop Asian hate,” and host a series of events for its AAPI staff, co-founder and CEO Jeremy Stoppelman wrote in a blog post this morning.
—Ethan Jakob Craft
March 26, 2021
3:53 PM EDT
Chilling film from Wieden+Kennedy’s Asiancy group underscores how ‘nothing has changed’
Nearly a year ago, Wieden+Kennedy’s AAPI affinity group, Asiancy, debuted a chilling film in response to the rise in anti-Asian discrimination during the pandemic. The group this week updated the film, adding new images from recent hate crimes, such as the incident involving Noel Quintana, the Filipino man who received no help from onlookers when his face was slashed on the NYC subway; Ing Ngov, a 56-year-old Chinese immigrant and Philadelphia pizzeria owner who was brutalized by a group of men; and Otis Chan, a Canadian-born Chinese man who was spit on, insulted and kicked at while in his car in Calgary.
The original film, which debuted in May, noted that since the virus began to take its toll, Asians and Asian-Americans in North American had seen more than 1,000 hate incidents. Since then, that number has jumped to more than triple that—3,800, as reported by advocacy organization Stop AAPI Hate.
Wieden+Kennedy Copywriter Titania Tran, one of the spot’s creators and narrator, says that the updated film “is uniquely positioned to make the case that not only is this happening to our community now, it has been happening for at least a year. But the reality is, this has been happening for much longer. Our community has been subjected to different forms of violence, to varying degrees, long before this film was ever made. Nothing's really changed."
March 25, 2021
3:03 PM EST
Coca-Cola pledges nearly $2 million to AAPI organizations
Coca-Cola has spoken up amid a chorus of brand voices calling for an end to Asian hate, announcing via a post on Instagram that the Coca-Cola Foundation will be making a series of donations in support of the advancement of Asian American communities. Groups that will benefit from the company’s philanthropy: The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which is getting the lion’s share of the cash at $1 million; Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an advocacy group set to receive $500,000; the National ACE #AAPIStrong program, getting $100,000 to support Asian-owned businesses; and the Center of Pan Asian Community Services, which will receive $250,000 for Asian communities in Atlanta—the site of last week’s mass shooting and, coincidentally, Coke’s hometown.
—Ethan Jakob Craft
March 22, 2021
3:14 PM EDT
Direct Agents directs NFT-generated funds toward stamping out hate
Direct Agents, the full-service digital marketing agency, is exploring the world of NFTs, non-fungible tokens, for a good cause, donating the proceeds to Hate is a Virus, to help #StopAsianHate.
On Monday, the agency announced its NFT venture, which combines the surge in interest around this emerging digital art world and the urgent call to combat violence against Asian Americans. Direct Agents created 10 NFTs titled, “Out of Love,” and the pieces will be auctioned on OpenSea, one of the marketplaces popular with NFT enthusiasts.
“Direct Agents is taking a stand against injustice towards the AAPI community,” the agency said in its description of the artwork, which were created by Future First Studio, a division within the agency. Direct Agents will also match all donations up to $1,500.
The NFT market has become a testing ground for many brands and agencies in recent weeks. The market is based on blockchain technology that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Artists and brands create digital art works that are turned into unique digital files that can then be traded and auctioned off.
A number of brands have tried the NFT markets and are using proceeds for charitable causes, including Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and others.
March 18, 2021
12:45 PM EDT
Etsy pledges $500,000 to support AAPI organizations
Etsy is one of the first brands to come forward to say it will donate money towards efforts to #StopAsianHate. The retail platform is pledging $500,000 to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and Asian Americans Advancing Justice in support of the AAPI community, Etsy CEO Josh Silverman wrote in a blog post today.
Along with donations, Etsy says it is providing bystander training to all U.S. employees, and it will help its staff to manage racial trauma with mental health resources. It will also amplify AAPI voices through its Asian Employee Resource Community. “Racism, in all its forms, has no place in our society, culture, or company,” writes Silverman.
10:33 AM EDT
Brands give statements of support
Brands across sectors, including Facebook, Starbucks, Netflix, Salesforce and Delta, took to their social media channels on Wednesday to show support for the AAPI community after the shootings in Atlanta. So far brand statements are similar to how they appeared this past summer when brands spoke out about racial injustice following the death of George Floyd.
Facebook called for anti-Asian hate to stop across its social channels, using the hashtag #StopAsianHate, adding that the company is working to keep hate off its platform.
Netflix shared a tweet from Lara Condor, the Vietnamese-born American actress who recently starred in Netflix’s “To All the Boys I’ve Loved” series, in which the actress implores people to reach out to their Asian friends who might need someone to talk to. Netflix shared the statement from Condor along with the hashtag #StopAsianHate.
Starbucks posted that it is grieving along with the AAPI communities:
Delta posted to its AAPI communities that: “We hear, see and stand with you.”
Salesforce stated: “We must stand together against racism and build a safe and just world.”
2:09 PM EDT
IW Group makes anniversary plea
Exactly one-year ago, L.A.-based agency IW Group launched the #WashtheHate campaign to raise awareness of the surge in hate incidents against the AAPI community since the outbreak COVID-19 pandemic. The social effort featured Asian and Asian American celebrities calling attention to the violence and doubled as a safety push too, asking others to share videos of themselves washing their hands while discussing how the virus has affected their lives. Following yesterday’s Atlanta killings, the campaign spoke out once again today in a Twitter post calling attention to the fact that despite all the statements made and discussions had, attacks have not abated, and there’s still much work to be done.