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16 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: How is Secretlab heating up the collaboration scene?
  • Fax, No Printer: This new platform wants to be the new Amazon
  • Regional Round-up: Uniqlo meets Gojek, the new Z Flip designers and political TikToks

Innovation of the Week


Singapore-based Secretlab is no stranger to collaborations, but their latest has got fans talking: gaming chairs developed in partnership with hit anime Demon Slayer. The five-piece collection takes inspiration from characters from the series and one chair includes a thermal-activated blade motif that changes from black to blue – just like the swords in the show. 

💡 Our take

Gaming and anime don’t appear to have much in common, but the two fandoms are deeply intertwined. Some games borrow from the anime aesthetic, some anime is adapted from game stories… and Secretlab has recognized this fandom crossover. Fans are hungry for more collaborations like this: hype is building around a Fortnite x Bleach partnership, despite there being no official word from Epic Games.

If you’ve ever thought that an anime collaboration isn’t possible for your brand, think again. If a brand that essentially manufactures chairs can develop an authentic anime collaboration, then so can you! You just need to respect the source material and the fans. 

And that’s something Secretlab has done well – we’d even bet that Secretlab has an anime otaku on their team. The chair designs could’ve been simply rendered in the colorways of the main characters’ outfits. Instead, they nod to journeys and backstories – bamboo for Nezuko, the color-changing katana for Giyu and fur tufts for Inosuke. 

A final point on that. The right anime collaboration could elevate your product from commodity to collectible. As the genre continues to grow, it will allow you to borrow from the cultural capital – and ride the zeitgeist – that anime provides. For more on creating collectibles tied to anime IPs, the power of the right partnerships and more, check out Culture Drop The Anime Impact. It’s time to figure out how your brand can harness the power of the fastest-growing genre. 

🚨 ICYMI: The latest edition of the Culture Drop is live!

In this edition of Culture Drop: The Anime Impact, we explore the growth and popularity of anime, and how brands can harness its cultural appeal to build equity and boost engagement.

Read your excerpt and download a full complimentary copy of your report below!

Fax, No Printer*

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

Which shopping platform is looking to take over from Amazon?

Facebook Marketplace



Regional Round-up

📱 Samsung is tapping young Malaysian talent to develop new app interfaces and user experiences for the brand’s Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip. The young developers will pitch their ideas to Samsung and could win their own Galaxy products. How can your brand cultivate grassroots brand love with consumers?

😍 Who are the latest Singaporean heartthrobs? It’s not who you think! Singaporean politicians like Jamus Lim, Lawrence Wong and Tin Pei Ling are being edited into fancams or written into fanfic on TikTok. We’ve previously discussed Gen Z’s niche interests, and the demographic’s creative expression…is your brand truly open to exploring them too? 

🚗 UNIQLO is celebrating its 10th anniversary in Indonesia by celebrating local icons – including Gojek. For the next few weeks, consumers can customize their t-shirts, with unique themed stamps and Gojek-related quotes. What would it take for your brand to make ‘local icon’ status? 

🍣 What would happen if a sushi chef fell in love with a sirena? Two Filipinas have raised five times their target on Kickstarter to create this inventive tail (geddit?) about a mermaid and a chef, highlighting traditional mythology from the Philippines. Gen Z wants to show off their culture and share it with the world, and brands can empower them! 

⚠️ ICYMI: To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the house of mouse, Disney is collaborating with various brands. Next up? Tommy Hilfiger, who has created a special manga-inspired collection with an all-new ‘Manga Mickey’. It’s another reminder of the popularity of the Japanese artform and a testament to the power of an enduring IP. 

This Week's Trivia Answer

B. TikTok

Per a report from Bloomberg, TikTok wants to take over the shopping space with TikTok Shop, aiming to 

quadruple the size of its global e-commerce business to as much as USD 20B in merchandise sales this year – that’s up from USD 4.4B in sales in 2022. Given the outsized growth of TikTok Shop in the region (particularly in markets like Indonesia) it’s unsurprising that the platform is looking to SEA to power this growth.

This will put TikTok in direct competition with SEA’s e-commerce leaders, including Lazada, Shopee and Tokopedia. Another report suggested that TikTok’s 2023 GMV will reach 20%~ that of Shopee, and that local shopping platforms are already ramping up marketing, services and collaborations in anticipation. 

It remains to be seen if TikTok Shop has staying power, but is your brand well-positioned to capture this new platform to engage consumers in culture, conversation and commerce?

🚀 Over and Out!

We hope all of our readers in the Philippines had a happy Independence Day this week! How did you celebrate? 

And finally, a big congrats to our friends at Globe Group for winning the Gold for Best Video Storytelling in PR Awards Asia Pacific, for #MakeITSafePH 🙌

Pop culture insights are better when shared. Subscribe, forward this email on, or share the love on social media. Thanks for reading Culture Wire! 


Your Culture Mavens,

Acacia, Aliya, Angela, Kiko, & Vicki