Advertising Age reported on the latest heat shield from Omnicom—a contest whereby entrants can submit PSA announcements advocating for better representation of Asian Americans in advertisements. The “3 in 5” contest name is inspired by poll results that showed over three in five Asian Americans claim they rarely spot characters who look like them in U.S. advertising. Hey, they’d see equally appalling underrepresentation in U.S. advertising agencies. And that’s no ancient Chinese secret. It’s unclear too if contestants must be of Asian descent. It would be odd—but not surprising—if the ultimate winners turn out to be the ruling denizens at White advertising agencies.
Omnicom PSA Contest Will Advocate Increased Representation Of Asians In Advertising
The winning entry will run across more than 35 national media platforms in May, which is AAPI Heritage Month
By Ethan Jakob Craft
More than three in five Asian Americans say they rarely see people who look like them in U.S. advertising, according to Morning Consult . That finding has inspired Omnicom to launch a public service announcement initiative to increase representation of Asians in advertising and to stop anti-Asian racism.
Starting Friday, April 9, Omnicom will begin inviting creatives to submit completed PSAs that recognize the underrepresentation of Asians in American ad media and foster AAPI storytelling as part its new “3 in 5” contest, spearheaded by employee resource group Omnicom People Engagement Network.
Entrants will have until April 23 to submit their work via a dedicated website, with a winner announced the following week, in time for the PSA to begin rolling in May, which is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
The winning PSA will be selected by a trio of AAPI creative leaders: Musa Tariq, the chief marketing officer at GoFundMe; Eric Toda, global head of social marketing at Facebook; and Daniel Oh, senior VP, creative director of copy at Marina Maher Communications.
Participants will be tasked with creating 15- and 30-second PSAs, as well as standard IAB banners and digital out-of-home elements, “to create awareness around the fact that 3 in 5 Asians feel underrepresented in the media,” according to the initiative’s brief. “The CTA for our target must be to implement the ‘3 in 5’ rule in their next communications campaign.”
The winner will be compensated in exposure, with their PSA running across more than 35 national media partners who have donated ad space for the contest, including the Washington Post, Verizon Media, Buzzfeed and Meredith. The campaign will be live until May 31.
Omnicom’s “3 in 5” contest also calls on agencies to pledge to represent the country’s diverse populations adequately and suggests they ask their clients to similarly participate in the initiative. The contest tool kit outlines some steps interested parties can take to adopt the rule, such as casting three out of every 5 characters with Asian actors or partnering with three-in-five influencers of Asian heritage.
“By using a simple 3 in 5 reminder in May, we can form new muscle and new habits to extend beyond one month or moment in time. It’s imperative to use marketing as an empathy and humanity machine to create understanding of people and their stories,” the tool kit reads.
Participants can submit their work at , which will go live when the contest opens on Friday.