Asian Pacific American Heritage Week (APAHW) 2016 — Clarity

Marketing Team

Michael Kwok
Michael Kwok

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Along with a team of 5, I developed the branding strategy for a week-long celebration centered on the Asian-American Identity, aiming to stand out from other campus promotions through a sharp and vibrant color palette.

Background:

In its 24 year history, APAHW has both celebrated and supported the Asian-American identity at Penn. It holds a special place as one of very few school-recognized cultural celebrations in schools around America, and activism surrounding the week has lead to the creation of important Asian Pacific American (APA) spaces and community initiatives at Penn.

In the year leading up to APAHW 2016, discourse on identity became central to the APA community at Penn. In light of this movement, our board chose the theme of “Clarity” for our week of events, choosing to center ourselves on this emerging discourse.

APAHW 2016’s Logo!

The college event scene at Penn is huge, with dozens of unique and exciting things constantly happening around campus. Thus, unique marketing and branding was crucial to draw attendance worthy of APAHW’s history. My main goals were to create a thematically unified marketing effort that represented both the diversity and complexity of Asian America while also tackling the problems of event overload and insidership.

Process:

One realization that we came to was that most of Penn’s event marketing either used Penn’s dark blue and red or drew from darker and subdued color tones. Thus, one of our first decisions was to use vibrant, pastel-style colors.

APAHW 2016’s primary and secondary color palettes

Next, we split into groups to develop the individual cover photos for each event. Combining each event coordinator’s vision with our higher level aesthetic, we were able to keep each event distinct both in marketing and execution while still maintaining a sense of unity across events.

In the summer and early semester leading up to the big week we wanted to keep our name on people’s radar. For upperclassmen, we highlighted members of our board with some fun facts about their passions. For freshmen, we showed up at orientation events and spread the word through cultural groups on campus.

Results:

Below are the cover photo and visual results of our work! Overall we brought out over 500 people to our events, which covered everything from education and activism to a community talent show featuring talented leaders from across the school.

Pre-semester flyer and board promo
Event where we introduced our theme and event schedule
Panel of student leaders focused around adjusted to college life
Our primary celebration, with a focus on diverse Asian media representation
Discussion and activities centered around mental health in our community
Panel with Philadelphia educational leaders about current issues
Dinner promoting the Asian American Studies program minor and classes
Speaker event featuring Helen Zia, one of the Asian American movement’s biggest figures
Performer event featuring Youtube cover artist Rajiv Dhall and actor Rajiv Surendra
Charity talent show featuring students from across the school

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