Ad of the Day: Wieden+Kennedy PSA protests weaponized Asian American stereotypes

Wieden+Kennedy has released a compelling film that aims to expose the myth of ‘The Model Minority’ – a false narrative weaponizing Asian Americans against other ethnic groups.

‘The Myth’ opens with a young girl perched on a stool waiting to get her school photograph taken, and she’s described as “a model student” and “a model citizen” by the narrator. As the film progresses, she questions what that means and sadly begins to realize that many minority groups are being pitted against each other through disinformation and stereotypes that are shown in the media.

The thought-provoking campaign comes from the creative team that previously worked on the award-winning ‘Call It Covid’ and its companion film ‘The Word,’ which both adopt a similar spoken-word style.

“The approach was more one of letting go,” said Titania Tran, writer at Wieden+Kennedy, in a blog post. “Pausing thinking, and finally pouring out what I’d been holding in for a long time.”

Budget for the film was relatively low at $200k and the team was quite small.

On the project, global culture and operations manager at Wieden + Kennedy Mimi Munoz noted: “As long as you have people involved who are emotionally invested in the message, it doesn’t matter if we have a large team or not. Everyone worked beyond their typical roles because they cared.”

She continued: “Being small should not limit the potential of its impact. It just pushes us to do more and work in ways that may be deemed unconventional in the industry.”

The film has rolled out on social media and is only phase one of the project.

“One film can’t tackle the myth of the model minority, but it is needed to begin that conversation,” added Munoz.

“We hope to be pivotal in carrying out those conversations in service of our community and other marginalized communities.”

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