23 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
💋 IN OUR WILDEST DREAMS
Taylor Swift made waves this week when she announced the next batch of international dates for her current Eras Tour. For the Southeast Asia leg, she will be performing only in Singapore over three nights in March 2024. There is so much to unpack here, so let’s jump straight into it!
💡 Our take
There are fans…and then there are Swifties. While Taylor Swift plays an active role in building her own lore, this fandom is a juggernaut with a life of its own. Swifties trade friendship bracelets (an organic practice inspired by the lyrics to You’re on Your Own, Kid from Midnights). They Taylor-gate. They curate concert outfits that go viral on TikTok (#erastouroutfits has over 810M views). In the Philippines, Swifties packed out malls to invite their favorite artist to the country.
This passionate fandom has turned the Eras Tour into an economic powerhouse, with Bloomberg calling it the ‘Swiftonomics’. It also has significant local impact – for every $100 spent on a concert ticket by an out-of-town fan, the local economy benefits from an additional $334 in consumer spending. Some creative fans in the US are also enjoying the rewards – unofficial merchandise is a gold rush on Etsy.
Now, all of this is coming to Southeast Asia. Thanks to strong government support and its thriving post-pandemic recovery, Singapore is fast becoming Asia’s capital of cool, attracting some of the hottest names in culture to the scene. Taylor Swift | The Eras Tour in Singapore is already talk of the town, especially as Swift has only toured in the region twice (her last stop here was in 2015). For brands, this means plenty of opportunities to tap into Swiftonomics.
The Eras Tour hype feeds into a bigger shift around the future of the culture economy. Regular Culture Wire readers would be familiar with the themes – fandom is shaping travel decisions, while young people are escaping into meaningful IRL experiences. And it’s not just a post-pandemic boom. Pop culture is becoming more fragmented, and sometimes media coverage of high-profile moments can be disproportionate to actual fan interest, fueling a cultural dissonance.
In an age where there are fewer opportunities for cultural harmony, demand for events that bring people together around a common theme will only grow. They might not all be on the scale of Eras. But they will be there – and so will we, to help brands maximize the opportunities to engage fans in authentic ways.
Fax, No Printer*
For those of you born before 1997, ‘fax, no printer‘ is Gen Z speak for ‘undeniable facts I agree with’
What’s the song of the summer?
Cupid by FIFTY FIFTY
Cruel Summer by Taylor Swift
Dance the Night by Dua Lipa
✈️ Klook has revealed what it takes for Gen Z and Millennials to travel – culture! One in four young jet setters want to find ‘inspiration’ on their travels, increasingly through unique local traditions. How might you help brands showcase their local credentials and attract these culture vultures?
🍭 SGFR is a Singaporean fishing and tackle store that’s pivoted to supplying TikTok and YouTube approved snacks and drinks. From KSI and Logan Paul’s energy drink Prime to Mr. Beast’s own brand of chocolates, it’s clear that SGFR knows how to capitalize on creator hype.
This Week's Trivia Answer
B. Cruel Summer by Taylor Swift
We started with Taylor Swift, we’ll end with Taylor Swift 😉 Although Cruel Summer was released in 2019’s Lover, it has only just been released as a single, returning to the Billboard Hot 100 on June 3. This revival might seem rare but if you’re keeping an eye on TikTok, you know throwback hits are popular. The Stranger Things effect just pushed Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill to 1B streams… 37 years after it was released.
In the same way, Cruel Summer’s revival is the result of fan power. Fans are streaming it to get into the Eras tour spirit, lauding it as having the ‘best bridge’. For many, having a ‘cruel summer’ also increasingly represents letting loose this summer. Oftentimes, fans just come up with things organically. When that happens, take a leaf from the Taylor Swift playbook: celebrate it and give them more!
🚀 Over and Out!
What’s your favorite Taylor Swift era?
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Your Culture Mavens,
Acacia, Aliya, Angela, Kiko, & Vicki