Friday, June 24, 2011

Heineken's "The Date" ad

Ok, so check this new ad from Heineken. It's called "The Date" and it's pretty cool. But there was something in it that sorta piqued my interest.

Yes, it's the white guy/ Asian girl pairing.

Now, before some of you start to get your back up, let me say something first up. There are some Asian guys out there who have a degree of hostility to that kind of relationship, and who would dismiss the guy as a rice chaser and the girl as having some kind of self-loathing. I'm not really one of those people. I'm a product of such a relationship, for a start, and I'm in a inter-ethnic relationship of my own (she's Indian).

I like to see Asians get some representation on the screen. But the problem is that it's primarily Asian women, and when those Asian women get some lovin', it is almost always with a white guy. Of course, white guy/ Asian girl couples are commonplace in real life, so it's expected that you'd see them a bit on screen. Yet the clear majority of Asian women in Western countries choose to date or marry Asian guys, and portrayals of Asian-Asian couples are surprisingly rare. Perhaps there is a limited amount of Asian-ness producers think their audiences can handle, and two Asians in a relationship is one too many.

And a white woman with an Asian guy? According to TV and film, such a thing may as well not exist. (Note to pedants: there are exceptions to this, I know, but I'm talking overall.)

So while the frequent portrayal of white guy/ Asian girl couples does to some extent reflect reality, bear in mind that popular culture doesn't just reflect reality, it shapes it. And the portrayal of Asian men in popular culture tends to vary between poor and non-existent. When the highest profile Asian male actor in the West is Ken Jeong, best known for exposing his very underwhelming penis in The Hangover, you know that things aren't that healthy.

So as you watch the dashing white dude in the above video, sweeping the hot Asian girl off her feet in an Asian restaurant (aka "her natural environment"), ask yourself this. Why did it have to be that particular racial combination?

In isolation, it's just a couple, and their racial combination is no more significant than any other racial combination. If you look at it as part of an overall trend, then it might start to bother you a little.

44 comments:

  1. Heineken knows that asians dont drink their beer, it's mostly white guys

    asians dont get a big demographic in commercials, because asians dont spend their money frivolously

    and asians only make up something like 4% of america's demographic

    contrarily you see a black person in 1/3 of commercials yet they make up around 15% of the demographic

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  2. Am I the only one that feels like this commercial shows a white guy that is introducing an asian girl to the wonders of her culture?

    I feel like that's one of the themes in this commercial. I would indeed make more sense if it was an asian guy and a girl.

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  3. I am neither a white guy nor am I an asian guy.
    I just came here to learn the name of the asian girl.
    She is hot.

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  4. can someone please tell me the name of the band an the name of the song in the commercial??

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  5. I'm with Sept. 26th Anonymous.

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  6. The name of the song is
    Jaan Pehechaan Ho
    from a bollywood movie
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyEnG_DEB1I
    I am currently in my quest to find the girls name which till now I thought was hispanic.
    Which from the commercial point's of view it would certainly make more sense in terms of the demographics

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  7. It is a great ad and the girl is beautiful- I think Amer-asian. Looks a bit like Lucy LU.

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  8. Girl's name is Samantha Rex

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  9. The magician looks like the first Doctor from Doctor Who

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  10. I am a white girl and I prefer to date Asian dudes. Unfortunately me being almost 6 ft tall makes that difficult :( So we do exist, but I also get bothered by the lack of asian guys/white women or lack of asian guys with any women period in the media. Even in Romeo must die, they made a a story that is traditionally a love story into a friendship. It is unfortunate that the media is hesitant to show white women with anything but white men, but at least you see some pairings with other races, except Asian men.

    The closest I can think of is an NCIS episode where an Asian officer was murdered and his wife was white.

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  11. And to give my background I'm white, an American, blonde, blue eyed.

    Since I think someone will comment on this:
    I have dated Asian and white men shorter than me and they say they don't have an issue with me being taller than them, but somehow it always comes up as an issue, which makes me think they're really not ok with it. This is why I tend to try and date men that are taller than me (of all races).

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  12. ANONYMOUS I JUST WANT TO KNOW THE BEAUTIFUL ASIAN GIRLS NAME I'M NATIVE AMERICAN AND LOVE ALL DARK SKIN (SUSEP)

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  13. http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xkkslp_behind-the-scenes-with-samantha-rex_lifestyle

    She's Thai. Have fun.

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  14. This is one of my all time favorite commercials. I love the singer, I love the sites, scenes, action and good gracious the woman is beautiful. I am married to a beautiful Chinese woman and have always been blown away by the beauty of Asian women. She is beautiful. It is a great commercial. I always stop whatever I am doing and watch it when it comes on.

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  15. BTW..I am a white male, since the topic of white with Asian came up, for whatever reason, in the conversation about this commercial.

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  16. Asian guys have really small pee pees and that is why Asian women go to white guys.
    Keep blowing your money trying to make your stupid Honda look like it was in "The Fast and The Furious" while we get the puss.

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  17. @ Anon (Dec 15):

    perhaps you can explain to me why it seems to be white guys like yourself who love talking about Asian dick so much. You seem more concerned with Asian pee pee than most women.

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  18. She is SMOKING HOT. And I've been married to an American Asian...and had another long relationship w/ a half Asian...it's my Kryptonite.

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  19. I'm Asian, well half-Asian/half-white. I was the result of a white father and Japanese mother and was put up for adoption and adopted by a Japanese father and his "white" wife. I grew up around the US military, most of my friends were white or black, rarely of any Asian descent.

    I have very little interest in Asian women, I've always favored white women.

    I'm just curious how others feel about their preferences as a function of cultural surroundings. Did you grow up among Asians here in the US? Do you think this impacted your views?

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  20. @ BYamo:
    I'm from Australia actually. Grew up mostly around white people initially, then from university onward have mostly been surrounded by Asians. I'm more attracted to Asians and dark-skinned people rather than white women, but I dunno exactly how that relates to my upbringing or cultural surroundings. But with many people, it's what you are used to. So if you don't have much contact with Asians, you might not feel you relate to them.
    But everyone has different factors in their life that influence their tastes, and some of the reasons may relate to specific psychological aspects of them.

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  21. Yes, there are lots of factors involved. FWIW, my tastes do skew to brunettes with brown eyes. Hmmm....

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  22. I am a white woman who prefers a certain androgynous look to my men, this trait is more common among Asian men, thus I prefer them over men of other races. It's been known for some time that Asian men are nigh invisible while African and Hispanic men are everywhere - the roles that they are given are another matter of course.
    The Ad is cute that is part of the problem cute does not make the ad and it subtext - conscious or subconscious - okay

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    For anyone who wants to help spread AM/WF to more people, please check out the first AM/WF Erotica book filled with hot AM/WF romance and sensuality available on Amazon Kindle, titled "RICE ON WHITE: AM/WF EROTIC TALES OF FORBIDDEN ADDICTION"

    Link:
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    Long live AM/WF!

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  24. Asian girls are the best in bed! They are cute in public with their little "hee hee" but then get them in bed and it's like a lion roar "GIVE ME YOUR DICK AND PUT IT IN ME, OH OH OH OH OH OH!!!!"

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  25. Is the singer an Asian Guy?

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  26. The restaurant depicted appears Chinese, though it is actually filmed in the Rivoli Ballroom in London. That said, I don't think the Dutch company (Heineken) was trying to imply that a Frenchman (Guillaume Dolmans) was introducing a Thai woman (Samantha Rex) to the magic of "Chinese culture" with a soundtrack of Indian music (Mohammed Rafi). It was just a commercial trying to show an exciting date.

    Since the advertising agency and beer company are both Dutch, I don't think it is necessarily fair to use this as an example of racial preferences in American culture. I'm sure they were just going for young and attractive. :-)

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  27. @ Anon (Jan 31, 2012 02:53 AM):

    good comment, and you may well be correct. But my main point is contained in the last paragraph of the post. In isolation, there's nothing wrong with this at all - it is a pretty cool ad - but it is nonetheless part of an overall picture.

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  28. I am a White Male. I think it shouldn't matter what color you are, if you see a cheesy stereotype that has been played many many times then you should condemn it. Can Asian women have White male partners in films? Yes, but I don't think it needs to be done over and over and over and over again. Especially when you start to have Asian women harassed in non-Asian countries by men two to three times their age.
    Something which I detest is how Western women are portrayed in Bollywood films as being easy, highly promiscuous and worthless.

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  29. I don't know if this complicates things but she's half german

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  30. asexual asian men play the drums and are assigned other supporting roles while the peachy-keen white guy gets the girl and all her admiration. That commercial's target audience was asian women. They know how these women think: rip on asian men, worship white guys. super hip super "kewl"

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  32. OH man I forgote to tell you somthing I am in the Indan culchure and stop saying THE D WORD

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    Replies
    1. What in blazes are you talking about?

      Delete
    2. HAY its Indian dumy and he means dick

      Delete
    3. If you are going to call me a "dummy", at least learn to spell "dummy" properly. Even though I find the irony amusing.

      Apologies for saying "The D Word". In future I shall endeavour to replace it with the words cock, prick, whang, todger, junk, dong, love truncheon, flesh flute, and purple-headed warrior. I hope you find those less offensive.

      Delete
    4. Hey Im bookmarking this page for future visits ONLY because Eurasian Sensation is a HOOT! Purple headed warrior SMH!

      Delete
  33. Hay man you should look at the full vergin.

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  34. Does anyone around here think the Asian girl is hot?

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  35. I agree with the author, the portrayal of Asian Men in American media as a love-interest for women of other ethnic backgrounds is practically non-existent. I know we make up a small percentage of the population but my goodness, would it really kill media advertisers to have at least 5 commercials out of 100 that have Asian males in a leading role? Is that really too much to ask?

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  36. "popular culture doesn't just reflect reality, it shapes it."

    That last point is crucial in my opinion. Hollywood (or America's entertainment/tv industry) has a lot of representation for white and black men. for the former, it's hollywood movies, t.v. shows, sports, etc; for the latter, it's undoubtedly hip-hop videos and sports (although movies and shows are catching up thanks to guys like tyler perry and all his "black power" movies and shows). They are often glorified and shown in a sexually desirable manner (i.e. dateable). When the social media tells us what standards are "in" and what is "out" (i.e. what is acceptable and unacceptable), we usually follow like a bunch of sheeps. asian guys then, end up bearing the brunt of this reality. we are the odd dudes out as we don't fit in to any of this stuff in popular culture. we're easily discernible with our unique physical/facial features, and thus we are easily weeded out; latin guys from central/south america (not the indigenous ones, but the euro ones and even the mestizos) fit in because they have euro-centric features; ***many*** of mestizos look european due to the spaniard blood; they have long faces with pointy noses and are hairy.

    "If you look at it as part of an overall trend, then it might start to bother you a little."

    Yes, i do look at it from an overall trend, but i don't let it bother me anymore. it's just how it is. my response to these sociological trends and all this social media poisoning is to go against the grain myself. while i love asian women, as an asian man, i have made the decision to not date them. my goal is to contribute to a more balanced field, and the only way i can ensure that is by doing my part. i'm not going to let the media tell me that i'm not desirable, because i am. i'm 5'10", very fit with broad shoulders, almond shaped eyes, a gorgeous smile (as many women have told me); i am college educated (working on my masters right now), and i have a deep southern voice that many have said sound extremely pleasant. above all else, i have character. i work on treating people with respect and dignity every day of my life, and i focus on the little things, because they matter. in other words, i have a bomb-ass personality. the social media would say that i fall short of the standards for beauty, but i say, fuck 'em.

    that's my attitude. big thanks to the author for writing this piece as it was spot on. and a big thanks to steven yuen for doing his thing. let's see what opportunities that creates for other asian men.

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