The restaurant industry is a major buyer of Ajinomoto, a leader in frozen food manufacturing for consumers and food service businesses, so it was devastating to see Chinese restaurants in the United States shutting their doors during Covid-19 at an alarming rate. U.S. sales in Chinese restaurants dropped up to 70 percent, causing them to close at double the rate of any other restaurant category in a moment when takeout should have been skyrocketing because of the nationwide lockdown. Ajinomoto wanted to support the industry that supports them.


With the U.S. sheltered-in-place, we turned takeout into a tool for activism. Everything we did was grounded in normalizing delivery from Asian restaurants. We began by leveraging data from the Edelman Trust Barometer to make it clear to the client that what they do and say matters—perhaps more than ever before.

From there, we created an unbranded, celebrity-driven video that included clips of celebrities self-recording themselves over Chinese takeout in their own homes. As Margaret Cho, Harry Shum Jr., Jenny Yang and Gail Simmons stuffed their faces with delicious takeout, they shed light on this xenophobic food phenomenon and urged followers to support their favorite local Asian-owned restaurants. Our hashtag #TakeOutHate spread across social media, as consumers used it to highlight the restaurant they were supporting, tagging friends and family to do the same


  • To date, over 2,500 unique Asian restaurants have been spotlighted by supporters of the campaign.
  • 1.3B media impressions
  • +53 percent in positive sentiment toward Asian businesses
  • 5M+ video impressions