Subaru reaches Asian-American community through Hep B campaign

SAN FRANCISCO: Subaru partnered with the AsianWeek Foundation, and is using a Subaru car to build awareness for the organization's Hep B Free campaign, encouraging Asian-Americans to get tested for Hepatitis B.

SAN FRANCISCO: Subaru partnered with the AsianWeek Foundation, and is using a Subaru car to build awareness for the organization's Hep B Free campaign, encouraging Asian-Americans to get tested for Hepatitis B. The car, with logos and phrases promoting the campaign, is "a mobile billboard, essentially," said Heather Ward, manager of corporate communications for Subaru.

"It's going to be traveling to events throughout the Bay Area to raise awareness about getting tested and the importance of getting tested," she added. Subaru and the AsianWeek Foundation kicked off the campaign in San Francisco on October 15 and launched the San Mateo, CA, events on November 4.

"We are focusing on the Asian-American community because it is the highest risk group," said Ted Fang, editor of AsianWeek and the director of the AsianWeek Foundation. "Hepatitis B affects Asians disproportionally. This Subaru idea with the car is a great way of entering the market and bringing the market together."

Niwa PR, the AOR for Hep B Free and AsianWeek, is handling PR around the events, while Subaru is working on PR internally. The campaign is targeting local Asian market press, as well as national press, particularly around a visit from Speaker of the House and California representative Nancy Pelosi at an event on October 31. Online, there is a HepBFree.org site and Subaru and Hep B Free are using Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to spread the word, as well as reaching out to bloggers.

"It's a smaller organization, and we're trying to put a little bit of our weight behind it to increase awareness," Ward said. She added that the San Francisco Department of Public Health will measure the effects of the campaign, monitoring how many people are getting tested and if there is any increase after the program.

"Subaru is one of our first major efforts," Fang said, "and I'm hoping the success of this will get other industries and other major Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 companies to really do similar kinds of investments into the Asian-American market."

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