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12 OCTOBER 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: How superfans helped KinnPorsche go global  
  • Fax, No Printer: Can you guess the drink of the week?
  • Regional Round-up: Classical music meets the creator economy, Soho House comes to BKK, young people ‘let it rot’ and more

Innovation of the Week

👨‍❤️‍👨 Thai BL: From Screen to Stage

KinnPorsche is a 14-episode Thai BL series (BL = a ‘boys’ love’) based on a web novel of the same name by writing duo Daemi. Since it started airing earlier this year it’s seen huge – and we mean HUGE – success across the globe. Want proof? The English translation of the web novel has 4.3M reads and counting. But KinnPorsche doesn’t just exist online. A live version is now touring Asia, with sell out stops planned for Seoul, Manila, Taipei, and more (the show was hosted in Singapore just last week). During the live show, the cast performs both music and scenes from the web series. Cue fan mania!


This is a love story between men, a genre that’s surged in popularity thanks in part to fan fiction platforms like Achive Of Our Own, who reports over 50% of all fan fiction content written this year featured M/M pairings. KinnPorsche isn’t the first Thai BL, but it is setting a new standard – it’s dark, passionate, and sometimes explicit. It involves a gay relationship, but isn’t just about being gay.


The success of KinnPorsche reveals two key things about Gen Z. First, that they’re keen to explore all sorts of fictional worlds, and they want the content they consume to be diverse and inclusive. Second, that their passion can catapult two unknown Thai writers onto the (laptop/phone) screen and the live stage. This fandom is niche but loud and you don’t have to look very hard to find fan-made music videos, fanfic spin-offs, artwork… the fans love the show, but the show also loves the fans.

Your brand doesn’t have to get involved in the KinnPorsche hype. But it does need to recognize that 18-25-year-olds are deeply invested in micro communities (thanks in no small part to the power of TikTok’s algorithm). For this cohort, there’s no such thing as too niche – and subcultures are the new demographics. So whatever niche you explore, be real and authentic – and Gen Z will rally behind it. For a different strategy, take inspiration from Bilibili and Wattpad who are empowering young creators to develop the content they want to be immersed in.


Fax, No Printer*

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

Regional Round-up

🎻YouTube duo Two-Set Violin have built up a fandom at the intersection of young and gifted burnouts, classical music lovers, and kids with overachieving Asian parents. Their success has spawned merch lines, collab videos… and now a sell out concert series. The secret to celebrity success? Fandom! Brands that want to tap into this power need to appeal to the community behind the influencer.

🏠This December, Soho House will open its first SEA outpost in Bangkok. Membership isn’t cheap (it’s THB 135K a year – can we be your +1? 😛), but Soho House are promising hot events and access to Thailand’s up-an-coming cultural scene. How can your brand become a community builder and connect like minded people, IRL?

♻️BTS fans can now get even closer to their idols. HYBE Labels, the band’s management company, is collaborating with upcycling brand RE;CODE to turn BTS’ stage outfits into bags. Each product is totally unique. Time to put a sustainable twist on fandom?

🌱Making choices that are better for people and the planet is important to Gen Z. Malaysian platform Dia Guild works with SEA artisans to create eco-friendly clothing that celebrates the region’s culture and creativity. How can your brand prove to this demographic that you support their beliefs? Berjaya!

🛏️ China’s 996 work culture is notorious. Young people across the country are taking a new stand against burnout with the rallying cry of ‘let it rot’. Look beyond the buzzy phrase – Gen Z are increasingly disillusioned and despondent about their prospects. Many in this group just want to be listened to. Brands need to show some empathy, and adjust offerings to include mental health and mindfulness.

⚠️ICYMI: Two Spotify stories to finish: on World Mental Health Day the brand helped people ‘tune in’ to themselves with a new audio series and a Headspace partnership (Sunday Scaries, begone!). Culture Group also dropped into the launch of the brand’s #SpotifyIDentitasku campaign in Indonesia, which celebrates Indonesian music and local artists.

This Week's Trivia Answer

🥃 C. A Negroni. Sbagliato… with Prosecco

Game of Thrones: House of the Dragon star Emma D’Arcy’s explanation of their favorite drink, delivered in their signature breathy voice, exploded across TikTok, with creators making their own videos in response. Things got creative, quick: bartenders reviewed it, service workers revealed bars were selling out of Negroni and Prosecco, and a whole slew of memes appeared using Emma’s voice as the base. The clip even drummed up interest in the show, with people tuning in because they liked the actor’s voice.

Gen Z are always excited to try something new, but sometimes the best way to reach them is the route least expected. This TikTok trend resonated better than any other targeted GoT activation because it’s an honest moment between two friends. Viewers can also try the drink or interact with the sound, putting their own twist on the experience. It’s one of the best ways we’ve ever seen anyone reach out to this always-online generation. The next round’s on Emma D’Arcy! 🥂

🚀 Over and Out!

Think you can beat Emma D’Arcy’s concoction? We’re all ears!

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Your Culture Mavens,

Acacia, Aliya, Angela, Kiko, & Vicki