What Entrepreneurs Can Study from Squid Sport Success

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Squid game marketing lessons hero

Squid Sport.

These are two phrases you would possibly by no means have put collectively, and instantly it’s October 2021, and also you’re not listening to about a lot else.

The Korean-made, dystopian drama sequence produced and streamed by Netflix is by all measures a document breaker. Not simply when it comes to viewership or cash (it made almost $1B…), but in addition when it comes to viewers mindshare, which in spite of everything is what drives each different success. 

There’s a lot that entrepreneurs can be taught from Squid Sport about methods to have interaction audiences and make them go a bit loopy in your model or product. Let’s dissect the present and see what takeaways can encourage your subsequent advertising and marketing marketing campaign:

1. Design Issues (A Lot)

One of many spectacular elements of the sequence is its visible design, which pops out and sticks with you, an indelible a part of the present’s character and identification. The present creators included many parts that reference acquainted artwork, just like the Escherian stairwell, and the crimson fits from Cash Heist. That is essential to notice, as a result of familiarity is a robust option to enchantment to audiences. It creates a way of consolation and belonging, that are key to constructing belief and boosting affinity.

The sequence makes use of colours well, as if from a set palette. The backgrounds are pastels, which successfully counteract with the vivid crimson of the workers uniforms and the gamers’ inexperienced. The colours reinforce the underlying sense of the story – harmless childlike settings in mild pastel tones, nasty satan colours for the workers, and the hope and renewal of inexperienced for the gamers whose lives we’re rooting for! Entrepreneurs know that coloration drives completely different feelings, and the usage of completely different colours can have a huge effect on a marketing campaign. Squid Sport simply makes it all of the extra clear.

One other ingredient of design that deserves a point out is the easy, clear symbols representing the video games, and people on the masks of the guards. On the subject of creating model logos, simplicity is basically essential. It supplies the viewer with a considerably clean slate on which to challenge their very own emotions and perceptions, which is a big a part of constructing a relationship with a model. Plus, it’s a great lesson to remind entrepreneurs to simplify their message, solely making it simpler for patrons to assimilate. 

suid game marketing lesson 1 - design matters - escherian staircase vs squid game staircase

Supply @RaminNasibov: Escherian Stairwell vs. Squid Sport staircase

2. Know Your Viewers – Through Information

“Know your viewers” is the primary rule of selling. And it has confirmed to be a key purpose for the unimaginable success of Squid Sport.

Because it occurs, the sequence was repeatedly rejected by manufacturing studios for nearly 10 years. Nobody needed to take it on, till Netflix.

Netflix is a data-driven enterprise. Each time a consumer chooses a present to look at, stops watching, clicks “Like”, or searches for a title, Netflix is gathering knowledge about their pursuits and preferences. This not solely drives the suggestions served to the actual consumer; the huge pool of worldwide consumer knowledge supplies an image of the temper and pursuits of the overall viewing viewers, and even the overarching cultural temper. It is a highly effective, data-driven information that helps Netflix make sensible choices about which content material to put money into and promote.

A decade in the past, the world was not prepared for Squid Sport. Two years in the past, Netflix used knowledge to foretell that the time was ripe, so that they took the chance. And it paid off, bigly. This could encourage entrepreneurs in all places to pay very shut consideration to their very own knowledge, and use it well in future determination making.

3. Phrase-of-Mouth Works, Large Time

If you’re working on the workplace, you’ll positively have heard quite a lot of water-cooler speak round Squid Sport. There’s no avoiding it. That’s the ability of word-of-mouth advertising and marketing, and Squid Sport has achieved it higher than every other present, most likely ever.

In September 2021, content material recognition analytics confirmed that Squid Sport was “probably the most in-demand present on the planet”, garnering 79X extra curiosity in on-line discussions and searches than every other sequence. “Squid Sport” was popping up in all places, from LinkedIn posts and feed notifications, to dinner desk speak, and overheard conversations on the bus or practice.

squid game marketing lesson - word of mouth - linkedIn notification

Phrase-of-mouth is believed to drive at least $6 trillion in annual spending worldwide. Human nature being what it’s, word-of-mouth is and can all the time be the important thing to profitable advertising and marketing and gross sales. Squid Sport is the proof within the pudding.

4. Be Completely different 

Whether or not you’re a model or enterprise or TV present, the most effective factor you’ll be able to ever do is to face out. Netflix is engaged on this angle, investing an increasing number of in international made sequence which can be very completely different from the same old Hollywood fodder: Squid Sport, Fauda, Cash Heist, the record goes on.

Why? Overseas productions are unique and completely different in each manner, from the language to cultural references, values, and sensibilities. Even the appear and feel is distinctive. Whereas audiences love the acquainted (as famous above within the part about Visible Design), they’re additionally drawn to the brand new and weird. Not only a “international” manufacturing, Squid Sport can also be a Netflix Unique, a part of the large funding Netflix makes in creating and producing unique content material. In advertising and marketing too, in case you can deliver one thing new to the desk, you’re already in your option to standing out.

5. Going Viral

Going viral is just not essentially one thing you’ll be able to plan for or predict. Even Netflix could have been taken abruptly with the viral success of Squid Sport. As one senior technique analyst within the streaming trade put it, “I’m assuming that the [Netflix] executives knew due to the expertise they used, due to the area they launched it in, that this was going to be a success in South Korea. I’d put good cash that the executives had no concept this was going to be a world hit.”

Squid Sport has confirmed to be the quintessential instance of up to date “virality”. Because the present’s launch, there was a tsunami of TikTokers posting movies of themselves taking part in the video games. Mentions of Squid Sport have exploded on social media networks and feeds resembling Google Uncover. Take a look at the regular and continuous enhance in YouTube views of the present’s trailer:

squid game marketing lessons virality -  official trailers views on youtube trend


Whilst you can by no means pressure going viral, you are able to do your half to encourage it, as Netflix did with push notifications, suggestions, and naturally, endlessly reminding the world that Squid Sport is the most well-liked present ever broadcast on the streaming platform. Even when the sequence drops from the highest spot (already occurring BTW), it’s going to nonetheless be remembered as having smashed data and preoccupied the world. That’s the type of “virus” each marketer hopes for. 

6. Be Inspiring 

Imitation is the sincerest type of flattery, and in advertising and marketing, in case you’re ‘copied’, then you recognize you’ve succeeded. The success of Squid Sport has spawned a host of selling campaigns, impressed by the recognition of the sequence (this weblog submit included!). Manufacturers rushed to interact their goal audiences with social media posts, advertisements, and pictures that draw on themes and visuals from the present. The important thing ingredient right here is timing: manufacturers needed to transfer quick to affix the Squid Sport bandwagon whereas it was at its peak. Fortunately, the present’s symbols and visuals are so distinctive and easy, many manufacturers might simply put collectively a quick-win marketing campaign at low value, designed to draw immediate consideration from audiences with notoriously low consideration spans. 

Some manufacturers determined to go heavier than simply social media posts. RHB, the fourth largest monetary companies group in Malaysia, even issued a restricted version Visa card that includes the Squid Sport card design

Squid game campaign Rhb group

Should you missed out on advertising and marketing round Squid Sport frenzy, have in mind for the subsequent craze – act rapidly and interact audiences with an impressed marketing campaign that capitalizes on their pursuits proper now.

There’s One thing About Squid Sport…

Each inventive success has a sure indefinable high quality, a way of marvel or magnetic pull, that’s arduous to quantify. The mind-boggling attain of Squid Sport can by no means be utterly understood, however we do know this: the fitting story informed in the fitting option to an viewers that’s prepared for it might attain a stage that entrepreneurs ought to try for. Take what you’ll be able to from Squid Sport and use it to win your advertising and marketing sport.