Skip to content

Young Asian American TV spot: Look Ma, no tropes

By Dennis Clemente

If you’re watching this as an Asian American or acculturated Asian in America, you’ll exclaim, “They (ad agencies) finally get it!” It’s certainly a thoughtful piece that should earn Subaru love from the young Asian American family as target market.

Casting an all-Asian cast in American car TV ads? Unheard of years ago. Now, you have Subaru’s “Sweet Tomorrow” TV commercial for the second-generation Asian American family. It follows the Nissan “Errands” spot two years ago, although the former is admittedly a paean to Asian families where the latter is simply about motherhood with, incidentally, an Asian cast.

Clearly in both spots, ad agencies took a break from portraying stereotypes or using tropes just to meet its ethnic quota. It’s not exactly easy for mainstream ad agencies to understand the Asian American market when it’s open knowledge that it hires only 5% of minorities. For your reference, this is a Chinese American family you’re watching.

This lack of understanding of Asian culture makes it hard for them to catch nuances, but Subaru saw it. One particular effective touch is how the guy shields his wife and her pregnant tummy from cyclers passing by; it’s a chivalrous act not lost among Asians. You’ll also see the wife on the safe side of the road, the curb.

Clearly, Subaru has taken the slice-of-life scenario to a whole new level. It paints a  picture of America as we know it–peopled also by other cultures embracing their adopted culture.

Job well done, Subaru and your ”Sweet Tomorrow” commercial.