Communicating with Imagery: #AsianBaeWatch

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Simu Liu and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before are two contemporary brands that effectively use imagery to evoke emotional responses on their respective social platforms profiles, including on Twitter.

Actor Simu Liu is best known for his role as Jung on CBC television series Kim’s Convenience. On July 28, 2018, Twitter user @stealingsand tweeted the image shown above with the caption “Oh y’all. @SimuLiu is a hot basket of buttered bread omfg.” Later that day, Simu retweeted the image with the caption, “Retweeted because I’m an Asian male and in 29 years I’ve never been referred to as that one single time. So let me have this one guys.” His retweet quickly went viral with thousands of Likes and Retweets.

The image and captions were effective, evoking passionate responses from Simu’s fans. They agreed with the bread assessment but also empathized with his lamentation. Simu tweets to generate awareness and engagement around the projects he is working on. He also expresses the need for more media representation of Asian people. His tweet’s imagery and words stayed on brand, portraying Simu as a proud actor of Korean descent who is often surprised that his fans find him attractive, due to the negative messaging about being Asian that he received growing up in Canada. His fans took emotional action, generating high engagement with his Twitter profile.


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Netflix adapted Jenny Han’s bestselling novel, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, into a movie that has charmed viewers around the world. On August 20, 2018, the film’s official Twitter profile posted the photo above, which, according to director Susan Johnson, was a candid moment involving the two stars of the movie between scenes.

The tweet’s imagery and story effectively continue the on-screen love story for fans of actors Lana Condor and Noah Centineo. The tweet implicitly encourages existing fans to watch the movie again on Netflix, which would generate more income for the creators. Fans are also using the photo as their phone’s lock screen, as protagonist Lara Jean does on her phone in the movie.


Both tweeted images are examples of organic moments that the users were compelled to share, evoking the spirit of each respective brand. Trying to do it better would have come off less authentic.

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