“Squid Game” - 3 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from Netflix's Hit Series

“Squid Game” – 3 Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from Netflix’s Hit Series

One of the most trending topics on social media in 2021 is the new Netflix TV show Squid Game. If you frequently visit social media or you are an avid user of social media platforms, you can agree with me that Squid Game has been one of the most viral topics making waves on social media.

The South Korean Survival Drama does not only seek to entertain us, but there are valuable marketing lessons we can take from it. These lessons can be valuable to our business when it comes to marketing and improving sales.

Squid Game is now the most-watched TV show on Netflix at the time of writing this article. This shows how successful this South Korean Survival Drama show has been.

Squid Game is a TV show based on the events of poor people who are being invited to participate in young themed games with gruesome consequences when they lose. Surprisingly, Squid Game has broken records of most big shows on Netflix and has become the trending topic in 2021 following the fact that it never had any press or marketing activities in the US.

The script for the Show was written in 2009, and all attempts by the writer to get it picked up was washed down the drain because no one wanted to produce the violent and unrealistic nature of the story. But finally, the Show got picked up and became a success, as we all see now.

In this article, we will be looking at some marketing lessons we can take from the success of Netflix’s hit series “Squid Game.”


3 Important Marketing Lessons We Can Learn from Squid Game

First Lesson: Word-of-Mouth Marketing Has Proven to Be the Most Successful Marketing and Influencing Tool as Compared to Paid Campaigns

Word-of-mouth marketing has been preached by the old marketers and can be found in most marketing books as one of the effective marketing techniques out there. I have personally talked about how effective word-of-mouth could be an effective marketing strategy for businesses if they take it more seriously and treat it as part of their marketing strategy. If you believe in WOM or not, Squid Game has confirmed that word-of-mouth can be an essential marketing tool in any business marketing strategy.

The limiting element here is that word-of-mouth cannot be purchased like the way you can by ads from Facebook and Google to run your marketing campaigns. But all hope isn’t lost, especially in this social media age; you can harness the power of social media platforms to make word-of-mouth work for you.

So, let’s see how word-of-mouth played a role in the success of Squid Game;

I happened to see a post on Facebook from friends recommending others to watch Squid Game; I didn’t see the need to watch it, so I ignored the post. Later, I saw a lot of memes on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok, concerning Squid Game. I tried hard not to fall for this “Peer pressure”, but then I saw short skits from different African countries trying to portray what happened in Squid Game; this was the final blow, I fell for it, and I had to go get the series and watch it. You can’t ignore all these memes, skits, jokes concerning Squid Game as it’s now the talk of the day on any social media platform. It creates a form of FOMO (Fear of missing out) because you don’t want to miss all the fun making waves on social media.

This scenario happened with Money Heist, but that series had marketing backing it up, so we didn’t feel the effect of word-of-mouth. Squid Game has been the TV show that has proven that word-of-mouth can be a successful marketing strategy for TV shows. We can learn from this that no paid marketing campaign has accomplished this rate of success for a TV Show.

Humans want to always be the first to share content they find interesting and think it will also be interesting in the eyes of their family and friends. It makes them look like they have influence in that sector. This is how word-of-mouth played its role in the famous Squid Game.

Second Lesson: When Your Business Finds Its Way on The TikTok Train, That Is the Confirmation That You Will See Success

TikTok has become a social media platform that is set to make brands go viral when you luckily fall into a trend on the platform. It is a social media network that did not only present an opportunity for brands to connect with their audience but also defined a new standard on how brands should approach their audience on social media. You can use the power of TikTok to get your brand trending on the platform by adopting the informal way of interacting with your audience on the platform, and this can bring you more impressions and could result in your brand going viral.

Social media is called social for a reason, and the emergence of social media has caused marketing to evolve. The formal way of communicating with your audience has changed; consumers want to interact with brands that appear to be informal in their interactions with them. You get more engagement when you share content that appears too casual, friendly, funny, and engaging.

The exciting fact about TikTok is that the moment you get the users to have a trend concerning your brand, that will be your breakthrough. This is what happened to Squid Game on the platform.

Squid Game took an unexpected turn on the platform, nearly forming an army of viewers that took the whole trend to a new level, creating and sharing memes, jokes, shorts skits and many more around the Show. Squid Game’s advantage over its other shows is that you have to watch the Show to understand all the memes and jokes making waves on social media. For a marketing plan, this can be a good strategy. Make your campaign so special and distinctive that you transform your audience into story advocates.

Third Lesson: Brands Cannot Tell What Consumers Really Want Until They Show Us

Considering the fact that Squid Game was written in 2009 and no one wanted to produce it, it shows that they predicted that consumers wouldn’t be interested in such violence and unrealistic story, but it turned out to be the consumers choice after it was produced and released in 2021.

We can also say that consumers are tired of the one-way style movie productions they’ve been watching and need something odd to spice up their movie life.

The reality with consumers is that sometimes they don’t know what they want until it has been presented to them. Let me explain better; who knew that Clubhouse would become a hit when all the social media channels focused on the same features and didn’t consider the audio option. But when Clubhouse launched, celebrities, entreprunuers, and some social media consumers jumped on it like it had been in the system for a long time. They presented consumers with something they didn’t know they wanted until it was presented.

This shows that we cannot constantly follow the traditional standard and rely on historical figures to tell us the future. Innovative companies can consider using their marketing tactics always to take prudent risks. Squid Game has changed the limitations of a television program and revolutionized our viewing and interactions with the material. Ordinary content can gain medium attention from your business, but a really strong, original and fascinating notion can make you go viral, resulting in plenty of free promotion.



We can take from this article as brands that we should sometimes take the risk and try other marketing strategies when it comes to promoting our products. Word-of-mouth works, and we should learn to find a way to fix it in our overall marketing strategy.

Have you watched it yet?

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