Chasing $1 Trillion: Advertising to Asian America

Chasing $1 Trillion: Advertising to Asian America

The black family eating at McDonald’s. The Hispanic family shopping at Wal-Mart. Advertising is shameless when it comes to targeting the segments that it thinks will spend the most money. But until recently the advertising industry has missed out on a giant segment right under its nose.

According to a report from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia, the buying power of Americans of Asian ancestry will reach $1 trillion by 2017. The same demographic also is among the highest educated with 52% of all Asian Americans over the age of 25 holding at least a bachelor’s degree–compare this to only 30% of Caucasians. With a growth rate higher than any other ethnic group or the national growth rate, Asian Americans, until now, held only a fraction of the marketing world’s attention. All the while, a report by Nielsen pegged the growth rate of Asian American TV households at 9.6% last year, far ahead of the growth rate for Hispanic (4.6%) and African Americans (1.5%) households. In fact, the rare occurrence of Asian Americans in commercials has even spawned an “Asian American Commercial Watch” by John Lin of

However, due to the efforts of agencies like Bill Imada’s IW Group among many others, the marketing world is starting to pay attention. More brands are focusing largely on Asian Americans and attempting to make up for lost ground before their competitors do. Companies taking heed lately include Verizon, McDonald’s, and State Farm.

Our posts on the matter will be slightly different than Lin’s series on 8asians. Rather than serving as a proactive ethnic radar of sorts, which Lin handles amazingly (thanks John!), the advertising stories seen in ALIST will be part of my personal column, Evoke, where I cover marketing topics in general. So while Multichannel encourages the industry to “further reach out to the Asian community,” we’ll be there to analyze how that’s done and learn some marketing tricks along the way.

Stay tuned. #chasing1trillion

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