Rahul Sachitanand
Jan 13, 2022

TSLA expands Junk's focus, hires Fabian Tan to lead shop

The Secret Little Agency says the move transforms the unit from a strategic insights bureau into full-service cultural strategy agency.

Fabian Tan
Fabian Tan

The Secret Little Agency (TSLA) has announced new leadership and an expanded focus for Junk, its strategic insights unit. Junk, which started as an editorial and research desk in 2018 to understand the cultural nuances of southeast Asia, will morph into a full-service cultural strategy agency, the agency said.

TSLA has also hired Fabian Tan as partner and head of Junk. Tan was previously with Quantum Consumer Solutions, first in Singapore and then Shanghai, where he set up and co-led its China presence starting in 2017.

Tan has experience with culture and insights in brand strategy, innovation, purpose-building and communication across industries including personal care, beauty and food, as well as social Issues and sustainability. 

According to a media statement, Junk starts by helping clients achieve a "deep understanding of southeast Asia’s unique and diverse cultures—often superficially understood or overlooked—to unlock sharper strategies that can achieve desired business outcomes".

Junk's capabilities include providing cultural insight and fluency; understanding meaning systems and material culture; determining core culture codes, shifts and subcultures; and actionable insights in the form of cultural playbooks, category toolkits, opportunity mapping and concept creation, TSLA said.

Tan said Junk will study "Asian cultures more deeply and empathetically”, adding that the unit hopes to "tell cultural stories that are real, raw, nuanced". Junk hopes to help its customers decode the complexities of operating in southeast Asia. The new agency has already gotten off the ground with work for a variety of brands, including most recently the Potato Head Group. 

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