May 2011

Cynthia ParkCynthia was a speaker at our May 3 panel on Marketing to the New America and the president and CEO of Kang & Lee Advertising, a Young & Rubicam Brands/WPP Group Company. She has been in the business for more than 15 years. Before joining K&L, Cynthia worked at KPMG as a marketing specialist in international marketing, supporting Asia and Europe.

K&L’s forte is in “targeting a wide range of Asian ethnic groups in North America, including the six largest Asian populations — Chinese, South Asian, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese — as well as smaller ethnic Asian audiences, such as Thai, Cambodian, Laotian and Hmong.
“The company is also the current marketing communications industry leader for targeting other significant ‘emerging’ multicultural populations, including East Europeans, Middle Eastern consumers and African immigrants.
“And I’m proud to say that Kang & Lee was ranked the number-one Asian multicultural agency in the U.S. by Advertising Age for the second year in a row.”
No two days alike “[Before joining advertising], I was thinking about graduate school. Then a young advertising agency offered me a consulting role. I was intrigued, given what I had heard and read about the industry: that no two days are alike. That sounded like it was right up my alley.”
Diversity means “the differences that distinguish, yet enrich, us by adding variety to our lives.”
A stereotype is just that “Asians are thought by some to be the model minority or immigrant, who all know karate, are obedient and never unruly, are competitive at all costs and now a culture that produces the ‘Tiger moms.’
“Many of those attributes can be positive (or perceived that way), but the idea places Asians on a pedestal and fails to recognize that they, like any other group, have people who run the gamut of personality and behavior types. It’s not a good overall conception, because it remains a stereotype.”
Mantra “Let’s create it.”
R&R is “hanging with my pony-size dog, Beau, an English golden retriever, friends, family, good food and a great bottle of wine, and being unrestricted by time or an overly planned schedule.”
Humbling — and weird “I find that the moments that humble me are the funniest, or the events when I find myself in the middle of a situation of what I call ‘if only I had more personal space.’ ”
Best color “Burnt orange, because it’s fresh, like a burst of energy and all about renewing: It’s definitely no wallflower!”