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02 DECEMBER 2022

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: Wrapping up the year…
  • Fax, No Printer: What reality-bending trend was on TikTok this week?
  • Regional Round-up: The creator economy, fashion cinema, VAR discounts and much more…

Innovation of the Week

🎧 2022: IT’S A WRAP!

‘Twas the night before Christmas,

and my attention was rapt,

refreshing my timeline 

for Spotify Wrapped. 

Spotify Wrapped has been taking over social media timelines every December since 2015. The 2022 version launched this week with a host of new features including your listening personality type (are you a devotee, a time traveler or a jukeboxer?). There’s also a Roblox activation on Spotify Island with quests, games, virtual merch, and photo booth opportunities with 12 artists, including New Jeans and SUNMI. We didn’t even mention the thank you messages for top fans from over 40K artists, or the tie up with FC Barcelona. As a practice in recognizing and celebrating fans, Spotify Wrapped is 😘

💡 Our take

You know a brand activation has successfully owned a niche within culture when it generates a slew of secondary, organic, user-generated content and commentary around it – from themed takes to memes. Perhaps your brand doesn’t have the data (or budget) to offer a Wrapped equivalent, but there is still plenty to learn…

Wrapped gives listeners an opportunity to, firstly, flex their fandom and quantifiably prove that they are Stray Kids’ biggest fan (everywhere, all around the world!). Top fans of participating artists will also get a thank you video message from their artists. By doing so, not only does Spotify give recognition to ‘true’ fans, but also rewards and validates them. The Roblox activation further provides more touchpoints for fans to immerse in their artists’ world. Lesson one: how might you create campaigns that allow fans to prove their passion and set your brand up as an enabler of that fandom?

Spotify further fuels the emotional high by making it easy to share stats, rallying individuals into one giant community gushing about what they love. In 2021, there were 60M shares of Wrapped stories and cards on social platforms. This year, recognizing the evolving ways people are expressing themselves online, Spotify has added direct integrations with Snapchat filters, Bitmojis, and GIPHY, as well as WhatsApp and LINE. Lesson two: help fans connect with like-minded peers who will amplify their passion, and remember to keep evolving your touchpoints to be where your consumers are.

Finally – Spotify recognizes that music choice is not only highly emotional, but also hyper-personal. Wrapped acts as a time capsule of sorts, tapping into the desire for both introspection and self-discovery. The desire to understand yourself better is universal – across APAC, interest in personality tests is on the rise – but it particularly resonates with younger consumers who are still figuring out who they are. Lesson three: giving this group (data-driven) insight into their behavior will bring themselves closer to themselves and your brand.

Not sure how to put these lessons to work? Drop us an email, we’re happy to help.

Fax, No Printer*

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

How are teens constructing their own reality on Tiktok this week?

They’re liveroleplaying life at Hogwarts, complete with robes and potions

They’ve invented a fictional currency based on a cat

They’ve all started speaking Esperanto together

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

Regional Round-up

💰Indonesia-based TipTip just raised USD 13M in Series A funding to help creators across SEA monetize their digital content – it has more than 2.5K content creators on its platform and revenue has grown 20x since October. As more people look to monetize their talents and creators look to break free from social media algorithms, expect the economy around it to scale up.

📽️Turning a film-going into a marketing tool, Maison Margiela just opened the fashion brand’s first cinema in Shanghai. It’s free, there are retro snacks and an exhibition hall showcasing the 2022 RTW collection. Can you take younger consumers on a nostalgia trip and teach them about your brand?

🍟Gen Z are pushing for diversity, and brands are listening. Filipino fast food chain Jollibee has rolled out new accessibility features, like braille and large text menus for visibility impaired patrons. The new measures were announced – and celebrated – on social media by members of the visually impared community and content creators. Diversity and inclusivity initiatives could help your brand stand out.

🎫Last weekend, thousands of cosplayers and fans attended the Anime Festival Asia in Singapore. The organizers didn’t disclose ticket sales, but it’s likely to surpass the 2019 record of 12K attendees. Given the pent-up demand for in-person experiences, is there an opportunity to bring people together around shared passions?

⚽A World Cup campaign to finish – KFC Thailand ran a promotion that turned VAR moments (AKA, the most boring moment in a match) into a promotion. If a game is delayed while a VAR check is being run, fans can claim coups via the KFC app. Less time to argue about all those controversial penalty decisions

This Week's Trivia Answer

🦸🏻 B. They’ve invented a fictional currency based on a cat – The Dabloons 

Dabloons are a fictional economic system that appeared across social media, starting at 4Chan and going through the rounds until it landed on TikTok earlier this month. The meme started with an image of a cat holding up four fingers, and has since spread like wildfire, with fans pretending to have their dabloons bought, traded, or straight up stolen from them by dabloon thieves.

Much like Goncharov of last week (which, by the way, Martin Scorsese proudly admits to have made years ago), Gen Zs have yet again spontaneously constructed a massive roleplaying game on their social channels. Despite the world being in a bit of an economic downturn, young consumers are developing their own economic system that puts a brighter spin on things. Zoomers absolutely aren’t doom and gloomers – instead, they rally together to create something fun and wholesome across all platforms as a form of escapism. How can your brand learn to facilitate this sort of online community with Gen Z?

🚀 Over and Out!

Thanks for reading Culture Wire. If you enjoyed this edition, tell your friends. Subscribe, pass it on, share on socials, or let us know by emailing us.

What does your Spotify Wrapped reveal about you? And now that the Wrapped has well, wrapped, you can drop the act and go back to listening to hyperpop 😉


Your Culture Mavens,

Acacia, Aliya, Angela, Kiko, & Vicki