I’ve kept track of ads that Asian Americans have appeared in for almost 5 years now. I keep all the little snippets in a cereal box called the Good Friends box. What I’ve learned over the years is that there aren’t many Asian American male models in ads (duh). And when there are Asian Americans, it’s usually a female girlfriend of a white guy or P Diddy’s dead high end Asian prostitute.
But there is one glorious sector of industry that you can always be damn sure you’ll see an aZn in the ads. Gambling! Don’t matter if it’s Indian gaming websites, Vegas hotel casino billboards, or ads in prints that typically target Asians. I’m so f’n proud an Asian American model has something to look forward to in life:
“Hey mom! Did you see my billboard ad? I’m playing an Asian poker player in a Borona ad off of I-5 in San Clemente!”
Needless to say, I’m not too thrilled about the gambling problem in the Asian American community, especially since its affected a lot of my uncles (I’m so Vietnamese – How Vietnamese? – I’ve had an uncle go to jail for running an illegal sports book in the back of a pool hall!). And these ads just remind me that we are definitely the target market. I even saw a Thunder Valley Casino tour package storefront in the real Little Saigon area of San Jose today (and I totally linked you to the Chinese version of the Thunder Valley site just now).