Squid Game: How brands have capitalized on the phenomenon and what it means for content partnerships

October 21, 2021
3 min read

Who’s playing?

456 players.
45.6B Korean won.
111M viewers in the first month.
$90M in estimated impact value.

These are the numbers that have captivated Netflix audiences and industry analysts in the month since Netflix launched Squid Game globally. Netflix dubbed the brutal nine-part social class commentary its most successful new series launch ever; a monumental designation for a streaming service that has 214 million global subscribers. Even without an ounce of anticipation before its September 17 release, the Squid Game phenomenon almost feels inevitable in retrospect, given how nimble brands have been to capitalize on the hype. Squid Game may be lightning in a bottle, but lessons can be learned from this launch to make sure lightning strikes twice.

How is social media helping the game?

With no pre-launch advertising investments on behalf of Netflix, Squid Game was not a planned success story. The popularity of this viral South Korean survival drama has resulted in the immense buzz that has left many turning to social media to share their thoughts and recreate their own versions of the notorious games and imagery presented in the series.

Word of mouth has the potential to be more powerful than large paid-ad campaigns

Human nature is wired to share. With the launch of every popular show on Netflix, day-to-day dissections of a show’s characters and events are heavily encouraged and almost inevitable, the same phenomenon occurs on social media platforms. In the case of Squid Game, the violence and gore that kept the script stashed away for a decade actually contributed to its success. When countless memes began flooding Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok viewers were almost forced to begin investigating to learn what the hype is about. Whether it be just for the simple fact of relating to the community around them, or to actually understand the jokes and puns being told, the show must be seen to add to the conversation.

#SquidGame has over 39.5 billion views on TikTok, with millions of user-generated videos covering topics ranging from how to make the dalgona candy, to makeup and fashion inspiration from the series, to recreating the games with their friends. There is a similar occurrence on Instagram with nearly 968K posts tagged with #SquidGame.

Creators on TikTok took this one step further by hyper-analyzing the show in immense detail to unveil the genius foreshadowing tactics that took place.

To read the full blog, please go to Comperemedia.com!

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