This commercial was produced by Verizon in the 2010s, advertising a new tablet. Considering the low level of visibility that Asians have in mainstream American media, it is interesting to note the key presence that Asians have. This is not a random coincidence – when Asians appear in ads on American television, they are most often for business or tech-related products, and Asian characters are generally shown to be technological experts.
What are some of the historical reasons why Asians might be featured prominently in technology and business related advertisements?
What are the business motivations, on the part of companies like Verizon, that might influence their decision to cast Asian-American actors?
Should the presence of Asian-Americans in these ads be celebrated? Does it present any problems?
The presence of Asian-Americans in tech-related ads can be seen as a bit of a mixed bag. Some are happy to simply see any Asian Americans on television, given their history of invisibility in mainstream media. Others find it troublesome that Asian-Americans are being fit into a new stereotype, one that does not acknowledge the great diversity that exists within what is one of Americas fastest growing ethnic groups.