How brands can reach AANHPI consumers with culturally relevant creative

Marketing challenges persist in breaking stereotypes and achieving equitable representation across diverse subgroups.

How brands can reach AANHPI consumers with culturally relevant creative

The AANHPI community is one of the most diverse in the country, not only in terms of ancestry (comprising numerous ethnicities, languages, cultures and histories) but also in terms of socioeconomic well-being. U.S. Census Bureau data shows that AANHPI is the fastest-growing minority group in the United States.

Nielsen’s “2023 Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Diverse Intelligence Series” report notes that AANHPI audiences watch about 27% more streaming content compared to the general population. While good content appeals to all audiences, streaming platforms are becoming significantly more attractive for this community because it is more inclusive. In comparison to broadcast and cable, streaming had two to three times more representation of the AANHPI community.

While this speaks to a particular community of people and their representation on a single platform, it is also a rather strong signal of where diversity, equity and inclusion are headed. Yes, it is true that the AANHPI community has seen increased representation in the media. However, challenges persist in breaking stereotypes and achieving equitable representation across diverse subgroups. We still come across AANHPI individuals being underrepresented, with a lack of cultural amplification in advertising campaigns.

There’s not only a moral argument here, but a business one: Winning the right consumers is winning business for advertisers. This starts by identifying growth pockets and high-value consumer segments, crafting media strategies to meet their need states and activating these plans on contextually relevant platforms around the right content and the right moment to drive business outcomes. 

Here are five key best practices:


Culturally relevant creative is a must. Yet a poll from Morning Consult showed that 62% of Asian Americans “rarely” or “never” see people who look like them in ads. Brands must take steps to feature AANHPI consumers in their marketing efforts because when consumers do see themselves represented, that creates a deeper kinship with those brands. Creative must resonate with AANHPI audiences, which means reflecting the diverse interests, values and aspirations of different AANHPI subgroups.

Take for example, Google's "Asian Pacific American Heritage Month" program. Google created a dedicated campaign to celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month, featuring content and creative that highlighted influential AANHPI figures, cultural traditions and stories of resilience. The campaign used data-driven insights to ensure its messages were culturally relevant and reached diverse AANHPI audiences effectively.


Partner with community-based organizations, leaders and influencers that work closely with AANHPI communities. Engage in meaningful dialogue, build relationships and co-create initiatives that address inequities and uplift AANHPI voices and experiences. For its AAPI content hub, Spotify worked very closely with online audiences to identify mixed-race artists within the AANHPI community, refreshing several playlists with updated covers highlighting them.

Brands do well in collaborating with AANHPI influencers and content creators who have a strong following and influence within the community. Their participation can ensure campaigns resonate with AANHPI audiences and provide authentic representation. For example, Nike’s TV campaign “Swoosh High: Good to be Back,” featured Filipino-American influencer Bretman Rock. Rock’s involvement brought an authentic and relatable voice to the campaign, effectively connecting with AANHPI audiences.


Invest in culturally competent market research to gain a deeper understanding of the AANHPI community. That means ensuring the market research sample includes a diverse representation of AANHPI subgroups, considering factors such as ethnicity, nationality, language and generational differences.

This also involves going beyond surface-level demographics and exploring cultural nuances, values and traditions—and thus understanding their impact on consumer behaviors, decision-making processes and brand preferences. For example, cultural values such as filial piety or collectivism might influence purchasing decisions and marketing effectiveness. But as the AANHPI community is dynamic and evolves over time, you’ll also need to make sure you’re conducting longitudinal research to track changes in consumer behaviors and preferences. This allows brands to stay updated and relevant in their marketing strategies.


That research piece is particularly important because marketers need to be more conscious of avoiding generalizations and stereotypes that misrepresent the diverse cultures within the community. Instead, if you have people on your team who are mindful of cultural nuances, traditions and sensitivities within the AANHPI community, then you can create positive, culturally relevant messages with a more balanced narrative.

For example, Remy Martin celebrated the family spirit of the Lunar New Year, including a spot featuring AANHPI influencers celebrating the holiday. As part of the larger campaign, the brand worked with TV producer Danielle Chang to organize cocktail parties in New York and San Francisco, with ticket proceeds benefiting two AANHPI nonprofits.

Contextually relevant channels

That said, none of the above will work if you don’t apply it to the right channels. Once you’ve done the competent research and understood the culture, you’ll better understand how to reach AANHPI community members where they are—recognizing, for instance, the growing importance of streaming and social media platforms. Tailor the content and advertising strategies to align with the preferences and behaviors of users on these platforms. And of course, no channel strategy is complete without continuously monitoring the performance. Tracking key performance indicators such as reach, engagement, conversion rates and ROI goes without saying.