30 JUNE 2023
Welcome to this week’s edition of Culture Wire, a newsletter brought to you by Singapore-based pop culture and lifestyle marketing agency Culture Group.
In this week’s edition:
- Innovation of the Week: Dior’s latest brand ambassadors
- Fax, No Printer: What do Singaporean singles want?
- Regional Round-up: Indo gaming initiatives, Filipino finger dances, and Eid al-Adha in Malaysia
Innovation of the Week
🇹🇭🏳️🌈 CELEBRATING DIOR-VERSITY WITH KINNPORSCHE
The lead actors from the hit Boy’s Love drama KinnPorsche are the latest ambassadors for the luxury fashion brand Dior. Actors Apo and Mile, who star as mafiosos in the popular Thai show, will join other high-profile ambassadors like BTS’ Jimin and the actor Robert Pattinson. At Culture Group, we’ve been talking about KinnPorsche since 2022 and we’re obsessed with how the show has activated fandom and representation across the region. The Dior tie-up is proof that fan power pays off!
💡 Our take
We’ve previously highlighted how KinnPorsche perfectly encapsulates our favorite mantra: niche is the new normal. The show hails from an underrepresented country and showcases an underrepresented relationship dynamic. Social media allows consumers to find and connect with their people and, as a result, mainstream pop culture has become more fragmented and fandoms have become even more passionate. By identifying niches that are aligned with their brand values, and engaging authentically with those groups, marketers can deliver better ROI. But here’s the thing: niche might be the new normal, but representation is still lacking.
Per a recent study conducted by Lumiate, US TV shows with at least one Asian series regular increased by 2% in 2022, up from 36.5% in 2021. Asian main title cast and directors in film increased as well, by 7.7% and 5.9% respectively. LGBTQIA+ characters, on the other hand, have seen a 2.8% increase in representation from last year, but there were only a total of 92 characters across all of Hollywood in 2022 that weren’t straight and cis.
Given that many members of the Southeast Asian and LGBTQIA+ community don’t see themselves represented on the screen in the media that comes from Hollywood, it’s no surprise that they’re embracing shows like KinnPorche. By appointing Apo and Mile, as brand ambassadors, Dior is appealing to the show’s fanbase and edging KinnPorsche further towards the mainstream.
And while maybe ten years ago the idea of appealing to such a small demographic of fans may have seemed scary, today appealing to niches is no longer just…niche. Just consider the number (and caliber!) of companies clamoring to partner with gaming titles (League of Legends x Coca-Cola, Fortnite x Nike, Minecraft x Crocs – we could go on). Just a few years ago, brands wouldn’t have catered to niche fandoms in this way. Are you ready for the next niche wave? We’re here to help you identify it.
Fax, No Printer*
For those of you born before 1997, ‘fax, no printer‘ is Gen Z speak for ‘undeniable facts I agree with’
What are Singapore singles looking for in a partner?
People that have a good relationship with their parents
People that wear Love, Bonito
People that have a UOB credit or debit card
💅 Young creators celebrated Philippine Independence Day by turning Pangalay into a TikTok trend. The traditional dance is considered one of the last links to a pre-colonial Philippines and has links to similar dance styles across SEA. Beyond cultural pride, this was also a chance for young people to export Filipino culture to new markets. How might your brand help young creators share their unique heritage?
🇵🇭 Sticking with the Philippines, McDonald’s collaboration with some of the country’s biggest gaming influencers as part of the Unbranded Menu campaign just netted two awards at Cannes Lions. Gamers were invited to screenshot virtual food and brand it #ThisIsMcDonalds in return for real McDonalds vouchers. Melding ideas across passion points is a powerful way to boost engagement while building rapport between brands and fans.
🎮 Moonton has pledged to totally revamp the landscape of Indonesian gaming. They will push to empower young Gen Z and Millennial game creators, as well as develop new ways of strengthening the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang fandom, who already are one of the biggest gaming contingents in the country.
📞 Pepsi Malaysia encouraged people to put their phones down and celebrate Eid al-Adha with their families. The time spent offline during the challenge broke a Malaysian record for Most Accumulated Mobile Phone Offline Hours In A Month, hitting 3,905 days. With Gen Z embracing ‘dumb’ phones, is it time to center a campaign around a digital detox?
🇮🇩 Bahasa Indonesia could soon become an official UN language! The proposal is pushing to recognize the country’s cultural diversity and its place as the world’s fourth-most populous country and the largest Muslim-majority nation. Selamat, Indonesia!
This Week's Trivia Answer
C. People that have a UOB credit or debit card
Single and in possession of a UOB card? Some Taylor Swift fans want you to be their ‘partner’. Singaporean Swifties are interested in meeting people who have UOB credit and debit cards… because it will allow them to sign up for the Eras Tour presale. You certainly can’t question fans’ commitment – a channel discussing how to secure UOB cards appeared on messaging platform Telegram 30 minutes after the shows were announced. Others are petitioning the Singapore government to make the concert dates a public holiday.
The frenzy surrounding the Eras Tour highlights the layers that exist with a fandom that’s as huge as Taylor Swift’s. Identifying the right moment to connect with fans is imperative! How will your brand lean into the fervor surrounding the Eras Tour, both now and in the run up to the six (yes, more dates have been added!) shows in 2024?
🚀 Over and Out!
With expanded dates – both the ‘additional concerts’ kind and the ‘find a partner with a UOB card’ kind – it seems that all of SEA is hotting up for the Eras tour. And Culture Group is no different. Keep your eyes peeled for more news Swifties!
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Your Culture Mavens,
Acacia, Aliya, Angela, Kiko, & Vicki