Many brands want to portray an American togetherness. Many brands fail at this attempt because they do not connect their product to the idea. Thankfully, we’re not looking at another failure today. Instead, we have a quick-serve restaurant brand authentically connecting to its heritage and successfully sharing it.
This week, in celebration of Lunar New Year beginning on Friday, February 12, Panda Express (the largest family-owned and operated Asian dining concept in the U.S.) introduced a new short film, “Traditions Shared” from Los Angeles-based agency The Many. The new three-minute film, made in conjunction with Strike Anywhere and director Erica Eng, is a heartwarming story that invites people to learn more about the Lunar New Year.
The short film was shot safely in Los Angeles amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. The story depicts a young boy who experiences his first Lunar New Year celebration with the help of his neighbors, the Lee’s. Young Jordan is invited into The Lee’s home to experience the Lunar New Year festivities for himself and learn about the foods, customs, and traditions that surround the holiday.
“As a family-owned American Chinese brand, Panda Express has the unique opportunity to tell culturally significant stories in a way that connects people through shared values of Lunar New year, and that’s food, family and togetherness,” said Kevin Holmes, Executive Director of Marketing Communications at Panda Express. “Through the different character arcs and perspectives, viewers are able to understand the rich meaning behind Lunar New Year in a way that has never been done before.”
Kylie Wu, Senior Brand Director at The Many, said, “We are incredibly proud to have partnered with Panda this year to support their efforts in bridging American and Chinese culture. This film brings to life what Panda ultimately stands for – progress – and we look forward to continuing that message through the stories we tell together.”
Director Erica Eng said, “It was important to have Chinese Americans in the roles that mattered to maintain cultural authenticity. From our production designer bringing items from her own home to decorate our sets, to our food stylist pulling inspiration from her own family’s Lunar New Year meals, we wanted to make sure our culture was portrayed as correctly as possible on-screen.”