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27 OCTOBER 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: Why boardsports could be your next opportunity
  • Fax, No Printer: How is Gen Z getting closer to culture? 
  • Regional Round-up: Localized content, soft power, hidden gems and more!

Innovation of the Week


Eagle-eyed readers might’ve noticed a few mentions of boardsports over the last few weeks; including the opening of Trifecta, Asia’s first snow, surf and skate attraction (happening in Singapore tomorrow) and the most recent Asian Games. At the games, nine-year-old Filipina Mazel Alegado impressed in the women’s park finals while Thailand’s Sukasem Vareeraya and Nawakitwong Nathtiyabhorn (aged 11 and 12, respectively) did so in the street skateboarding finals. With boardsports having a moment in SEA, let’s unpack what it means for brands…


Trifecta and the Asian Games might have put boardsports in the spotlight recently, but buzz has been building for a while: earlier this year, the legendary Thai comic series KaiHuaRor teamed up with local skateboard brand Preduce on an exclusive skateboard deck collection, while the largest outdoor skate park opened in Singapore in April. The community has also become more diverse: the Longboard Girls Crew has thriving chapters in Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand, while surfskating exploded in Bangkok coming out of… you guessed it, the pandemic. 

For a long time, young people in Singapore (and SEA in general) who wanted to participate in specialty sports faced accessibility issues. Not only was the culture around these activities less established, the physical (and geographical) infrastructure didn’t exist. Global exposure — aided by social media — fueled improvisation and helped create highly engaged grassroots communities. Now brands are finally taking notice; a venue like Trifecta will allow Singaporeans to enjoy their passion point closer to home

At the same time, new infrastructure could also help broaden the appeal of a specialist passion point. Aware that skating, surfing and snowboarding can have relatively high barriers to entry, Trifecta has a cafe and space for spectators. A two-day music festival is also planned for November, with film screenings, art exhibitions, and a community market in the works, all to attract a more general audience.

A final point to end on. Trifecta is part of a redevelopment project for Singapore’s Orchard Road, and the latest example that retail spaces are evolving away from commerce-based activities to passion point-based experiences. For further evidence, look to Los Angeles, where clothing brand Supreme’s flagship store includes a free-floating skate bowl. 

So if a new retail initiative is on the books — how might your brand drive commerce through culture? But more broadly, think about the role your brand can play in introducing new cultural ‘hardware’ that facilitates better access to passion points for underserved communities.

Fax, No Printer*

For those of you born before 1997, ‘fax, no printer‘ is Gen Z speak for ‘undeniable facts I agree with’

What form of media gets Gen Zs closest to the cultural zeitgeist?

A. Podcasts 🎧

B. Movies 🍿

C. Music 🎶

Scroll down to the end of the newsletter for the correct answer!

Regional Round-up

🧕 That Cover Girl is the first Prime Video Original series from Malaysia. The six episodes tell the story of a young Muslim entrepreneur, a character that remains underrepresented on Malaysian TV. Localized content with a progressive lead and a message focused on empowering women? We love to see it!

🕵️‍♂️ Fans of Thai BL KinnPorsche The Series La Forte are in for a treat: the lead actors are going on tour to promote their new period film Man Suang, which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. The organizers promise that at every stop on the tour (which includes Jakarta and Singapore) will be different. We’ve previously discussed Thailand’s cultural exports – time to revisit how you can harness the T-wave?  

🗺️ A WhatsApp-based game has helped over 15K locals and tourists discover Singapore’s overlooked spots. supports local businesses: a standard game costs SGD 25 per participant and includes surprise gifts. Gamification and localization is a winning formula: could you create a campaign that helps locals and tourists discover hidden gems and new brands?

 🎮 Mountain Dew’s Dew Challenge has returned to Malaysia, but this time it’s national! The beverage brand is teaming up with PUBG Mobile to create a treasure hunt-style game in real-world locations, culminating in regional tournaments. This activation takes elements of PUBG and translates them into the real world, expanding the appeal beyond traditional gamers. Time to create an IRL scavenger hunt that brings the virtual to reality?  

⚠️ ICYMI: TechCrunch has confirmed that TikTok is testing 15-minute uploads (10 minutes is currently the maximum length for most users). While the platform is best known for short-form content, it’s been shifting towards longer formats. This could be good for creators, but do users want longer videos? Only time will tell if this is a smart move or another sign that social media companies are out of fresh ideas.

This Week's Trivia Answer

A. Podcasts 🎧

Spotify just released the latest Culture Next 2023: Top Gen Z Trends report. According to their findings, 73% of Gen Zs in Singapore feel that podcasts get them closer to the zeitgeist of culture — that’s more than any other form of media. 

As we’ve often highlighted, Gen Zs want to go deep into the topics they’re passionate about, and podcasts, which combine storytelling and authenticity in a highly intimate format, are the perfect way to do that. Niche interests can also be broad — educational content, fitness, comedy, and beauty are all popular podcast genres. But note that this cohort is also impatient. 58% of Gen Zs in Singapore have listened to a podcast at a faster-than-normal speed in the past year. Keeping up with culture is important, but they’ve got other things to do, ok?! 

With Gen Zs generating more than 10M podcast streams on Spotify in the first half of 2023, brands should consider ways to use this medium to connect authentically with younger people through their preferred way of communication. That starts with understanding the hyper-specific genres that interest younger consumers, and converting your message into a compelling audio format. Need some help? We know just the agency! 😉

🚀 Over and Out!

What’s your favorite podcast?

Pop culture insights are better when shared. Subscribe, forward this on, or share the love on social media. 


Your Culture Mavens,

Acacia, Angela, Kiko, Teri, & Vicki