10 FEBRUARY 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.
🇮🇩 It’s official: Indonesians are the most generous people in the world, with the country taking the generosity top spot for the fifth year running. Indonesia’s giving culture is rooted in cultural values – gotong royong (collective action) and zakat(charity) – and younger people have embraced digital giving platforms. How can your brand help Gen Z practice altruism?
In this week’s edition:
- Innovation of the Week: A cre-AI-tive revolution
- Fax, No Printer: Are the Gen Z babies having babies?
- Regional Round-up: Some Duolingo stats, social commerce with a conscience, celebrating togetherness and more…!
Innovation of the Week
🤖 CRE-AI-TIVE POTENTIAL
It’s been a week for generative AI. On Monday, Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, announced Bard, a new AI chatbot that could rival OpenAI’s ChatGPT (note that Bard flunked its first demo). Not to be outdone, Microsoft revealed it’s incorporating generative AI into Bing, while Baidu is wrapping up internal testing on ‘Ernie Bot’, a ChatGPT-style project. In our very own sphere of pop culture, Netflix came under fire for using AI-generated art to create the backgrounds for an anime short called The Dog & The Boy in Japan.
💡 Our take
Regular readers know that anime is beloved – just see how young SEA singles are declaring their love for the genre on Tinder profiles. SVOD platforms – like the launch of Crunchyroll and Prime Video’s focus on anime content – are allowing easier access to content. Meanwhile, high-profile partnerships – think the final LOEWE x Studio Ghibli collection or Jimmy Choo x Sailor Moon – aren’t just wildly successful with fans, but also continues to cement anime’s cultural influence.
So while a new technology like generative AI remains a fascinating experiment for most, when it touches on such a beloved passion point – people will have opinions.
Netflix was just testing the use of AI-generated artwork, which it put down to ‘labor shortages’, and marketing it as a way to automate a process. While the news, predictably, didn’t go down well with fans and anime artists, it doesn’t have to be that way.
ChatGPT and text-to-image platforms like Stable Diffusion are actually opening up creativity and, because they’re open-source, making it more accessible for more people. The key opportunity here? Use these tools not just as a means of gaining efficiency, but to supercharge collaboration with fans and bring them into the creative process. Less of a shortcut to content, more of a tool for co-creation.
There’s plenty to watch and discuss about generative AI, especially with regards to its impact on culture and consumerism. But for now, here’s something to ponder: how might you use this technology to open up new avenues for access and participation, which fans always crave around their passion points?
It’s time to get cre-AI-tive!
Fax, No Printer*
For those of you born before 1997, ‘fax, no printer‘ is Gen Z speak for ‘undeniable facts I agree with’
How many Gen Zs in Singapore are now parents?
🍜 Coca-Cola won the Guinness World Record for the world’s largest Tết event. For the lunar new year, their meal table, shaped to look like two side-by-side Coca-Cola bottles, sat over 3000 people from 1000 families, celebrating the spirit of togetherness over Vietnam’s biggest cultural moment.
♻️ Singapore-based social commerce platform Smthgood is launching a new project to create user-generated lookbooks. It aims to help users log and plan outfits, to cut down on impulse shopping and fast fashion. How can your brand enable more sustainable choices?
⚠️ ICYMI: Tiffany’s launched their hotly-debated Nike collaboration – and while we usually love streetwear drops, this one was a clear miss. Firstly, the collab seems to have been aimed at Gen Zs, but sneaker culture is a distinct Millennial pursuit (more on this misalignment in last week’s newsletter!). The design is also uninspired – many fans used AI to generate alternative designs for the collab, some even preferring them to the official launch. Well, if lost, return to Tiffany’s.
This Week's Trivia Answer
👶🏻 C. 80,000
According to Ogilvy’s recent report, The Secret Lives of Gen Z Parents, there are 80,000 Gen Z parents in Singapore in 2022 – more than triple the 25,000 that there were in 2020. They represent a little-understood but quickly growing segment of Gen Zs, who have different priorities to Millennial parents and their fellow Gen Z.
For so long, Gen Zs had been the Fortnite-playing TikTok dancing children and younger siblings. But here’s a stark reminder that the oldest members of this generation are in their mid-twenties, getting married, and having kids. Is your brand growing alongside this consumer cohort?
🚀 Over and Out!
This newsletter is still written by humans. For now.
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Your Culture Mavens,
Acacia, Aliya, Angela, Kiko, & Vicki