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Theory: Asian-Americans Love Infomercials

Vu Chung

My mom is a retired caterer, but when you're in her kitchen, you will think that it's a studio for kitchen equipment infomercials. If you ever question whether or not infomercials work, I can tell you that they do. It’s very interesting to see the impact that infomercials have on my parents. I remember when I was in college studying marketing and advertising, my professor said that 30-second commercials don't work on Asian-Americans because this market needs to establish trust before making a purchase. Lengthier commercials and infomercials work for this market because these consumers feel that they are well informed about the product or services. I did not quite believe my professor until I witnessed it for myself at home with my parents. I noticed that my dad, for example, was not captivated by the 30-second commercials. However, the longer commercials -- at least two-minutes in length -- were a lot more intriguing to him and he would watch the entire commercial instead of switching the channel. He always changes the channel during a 30-second spot. With regard to infomercials, my parents watched and treated these as if they were special television programming. They were completely captivated and eventually picked up the phone to place an order.

I'm certain there are studies done to prove this theory about Asian-Americans and I would love to read them. If it is in fact true that providing more information helps establish trust with Asian-American consumers, then companies should consider an integrated marketing communications campaign rather than utilizing only advertising to reach this audience. An integrated marketing communications campaign will include public relations, which is a key strategy to help establish brand image and build credibility.

In case you’re curious, click through the jump to see a few of the products you would find in my mom's kitchen and throughout the house.

But wait, there's more! 


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