The primary objectives for this marketing effort were to identify and execute opportunities for HBO Max to take part in and engage with various digital and social spaces that authentically connect with the AAPI audience during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPIHM). Another goal was to elevate HBO and HBO Max as brands that support Asian American and Pacific Islander voices.
A majority of the discussion about the AAPI community is centered around allyship and educating non-Asians. While that’s good and necessary, there’s a noted lack of space for AAPIs to celebrate one another’s successes as well as share what makes all the many communities that fall under the term “AAPI” great and distinct. There’s a need to see more than just the bad news.
HBO Max provided its platform to support this message from a broader standpoint by creating a space for AAPIs, where they can share successes, celebrate accomplishments, and empower one another. Through highly curated rooms of like-minded creatives from across the AAPI communities of beauty, food, photography, and entertainment, HBO Max created spaces for learning and sharing candid discussions that were personal and emotional.
The target audience for this marketing effort was millennial and Gen-Z audiences, ages 18+, within the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
The challenge was finding a meaningful and impactful way to engage the Asian American and Pacific Islander community during Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month during the pandemic, where there has been heightened racism surrounding the AAPI community.
To celebrate 2021’s AAPI Heritage Month, HBO Max created SEE US – an intimate series of conversations that spotlighted culture and identity within the AAPI community. The campaign featured four distinct conversations, moderated by leaders in their respective spaces, and amplified the voices of the AAPI community and its indisputable influence on culture – from food and beauty to entertainment and the arts.
Featuring over 23 AAPI HBO Max Talent, cultural leaders, and influencers, the SEE US conversation series further established HBO Max as a brand that supports and provides meaningful engagement within the AAPI community.
Partnerships with AAPI Women Lead, POPSUGAR, The Hollywood Reporter, and Tastemade helped bring the intimate conversations to a wide audience.
HBO Max launched eight days of digital community events to celebrate the Asian & AAPI luminaries amongst us through photography, food, beauty, and original programming.
SEE US: Through Our Lens was a dynamic conversation to discuss the intersections of photography, activism, and identity. The discussion was hosted by AAPI Women Lead, and published to their IGTV page and the participating panelists’ works were amplified on Sunstroke Magazine's editorial platform.
SEE US: The Dish on Food & Culture was a roundtable conversation to discuss how Asian American culture, heritage, and identity have influenced food culture and revolution in the United States. This conversation was published on Tastemade’s YouTube channel.
SEE US: The Warrior Spirit was an engaging roundtable discussion around the excitement and significance of HBO Max’s Season 3 renewal of “Warrior,” AAPI representation in entertainment, and the importance of community. The discussion was published in The Hollywood Reporter and amplified across social media.
SEE US: Layers of Beauty was a series of conversations centered on all things beauty – both figuratively and physically – as it relates to the AAPI experience. This series is available on POPSUGAR’s “We Belong Here” editorial destination on POPSUGAR.com.
The success of this campaign was measured by bringing awareness and driving traffic to the partnered platforms as the digital community events launched. The campaign itself garnered posts and reposts from partners, talent, celebrities, influencers, and fans of the brand (via the hashtag #SeeUsHBOMax), totaling 161+ paid and organic social posts, 67.4MM+ social media impressions, and 319k+ engagements.
AAPI Influencers who participated in the discussions shared 107+ paid posts, 73x more than contractually obligated, for added value. As for the participating HBO Max Talent including Lukita Maxwell (Genera+ion), Lisa Ling (Take Out), Andrew Koji (Warrior), Dianne Doan (Warrior), Hoon Lee (Warrior), Shannon Lee (Warrior), Judy Ho (House of Ho) and Aunt Tina (House of Ho), they delivered a total of 38+ social posts.
Platform partners AAPI Women Lead, POPSUGAR, Tastemade, and The Hollywood Reporter delivered 13+ social posts, 50.1MM+ social media impressions, and 257k+ engagements.