In early 2022, we saw that the AAPI community desired more than just visibility and representation, which was largely part of the narrative during difficult time periods in 2020-21 due to the rise of Asian hate (reference our See Us, Hear Us work from 2021).
Instead, they were entering an entirely new conversation — acknowledging and critiquing expectations placed on AAPIs and feeling a new sense of momentum to start shedding those expectations and to focus on their own unique stories as individuals.
As a result, we embarked on our first-ever AAPI evergreen campaign that amplified AAPI community members on our platform beyond just AAPI Heritage Month. Our strategic objective of the campaign was to increase Facebook’s perceived brand value by demonstrating that Facebook Groups is a place where people can explore their passions and identities through community and help AAPIs succeed on their own terms.
In early 2022, following a difficult time for the AAPI community due to the rise in xenophobia during COVID-19, we learned that the AAPI community was seeking support and visibility not only during times of strife or heritage months—but all the time.
As part of our Culture & Community efforts, we set out with an AAPI marketing & creative team to speak with AAPI communities about how they felt and how they used Facebook Groups to find support. Overall, we learned they felt restless and tired of trying to meet the expectations placed upon them – whether it be from parents, themselves or societal expectations. They sought to take ownership of their own stories by taking creative risks and finding alternative avenues of success than those expected of them (see: doctor, lawyer, engineer and other traditional routes to “success”).
A major challenge we faced in creative development was focusing too much on the “Model Minority Myth” and trying to address it head-on with our original tagline “Not Your Model Asian.” Despite our confidence in the bold line, we learned from community-led focus groups that AAPIs were tired of hearing about the model minority myth and were ready to move past it, instead flipping the narrative on its head entirely, hence “New Asian Narrative.”
We partnered with some of the most engaged AAPI Facebook Groups on our platforms and aimed to represent community members reflective of the vast AAPI diaspora. These included subtle asian traits, subtle curry traits, Asian Creative Network, Mainland Islanders and more. We worked with them to identify members who found support in their groups, like Christine Lee from the Asian Creative Network. In the height of the Great Resignation, Christine shared her story of quitting her job as a tech exec and joining the circus as a professional aerial artist where she now builds her own community to support performers of color. We also paired some of our community members—like Rubina, a Filipina almost-nurse-turned-roller skating content creator and Vinita, an on-the-rise Indian-American comedian and actor—with their parents to talk about their non-traditional careers and life choices.
We worked with an all AAPI core creative & marketing team including all Asian directors from across the diaspora and majority AAPI crew. The shoots took place in historic locations across New York City’s Chinatown, such as Columbus Park and Imperial Ballroom Dance Studio, and in Los Angeles in our talents’ local neighborhoods. We launched a digital photo series, 3 short films and short-form
Reels highlighting real AAPI community members who were challenging expectations and taking their narrative into their own hands. We even created short-form, comedic Reels on our newly launched Reels platforms to drive home the real world problems of being one of the only Tongan actors in the industry (featuring actor Setaleki Manu from Mainland Islanders Facebook Group).
Our team was deeply intentional in how we set up our shoots. We even worked with Gold House (AAPI nonprofit), leveraging their Gold Guide on AAPI creative representation to guide our shoots and edits.
One of the most impactful moments occurred during our film docu-style interviews. We had our Korean American female art director (Connie Chweh) lead interview questions with our Korean-American female talent (Christine Lee) which not only provided soundbites for the film but also created a safe space for candid and vulnerable conversations about growing up in traditional Korean-American families.
The campaign was successful in achieving our strategic objective of increasing perceived brand value and driving home our message that Facebook Groups is a supportive place to foster and grow community.
Our sentiment reports also showed that audiences resonated with the unique stories from our community members and with our mission to provide supportive spaces for AAPI communities. This was especially resonant during a time when unexpected box office successes like “Everything Everywhere All At Once” brought a uniquely AAPI immigrant narrative to the mainstream social conversation.
> 90M unique reach
* 12 AAPI Community Members highlighted
*6 AAPI Facebook Groups & Community Organizations highlighted
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