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Netflix's 'Squid Game' gets brands in a frenzy with their own marketing games

Netflix's 'Squid Game' gets brands in a frenzy with their own marketing games

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Netflix's Korean original series, Squid Game has taken the world by storm, ranking second on Netflix's global top 10 charts, according to The Korea Times. Created and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, the series revolves around players who would have to play high stake rounds in deadly versions of childrens' games. The director revealed that he had been working on the script for Squid Game for more than 10 years before receiving the approval to transform it into a series, said the report.

Hwang told The Korea Times, that he always enjoyed going to the comic book stores, and after reading a series of survival-genre comics, he decided to come up with the idea to make such a genre in a Korean style. Hwang added that though he finished the script in 2009, many found his work to peculiar and violent. As a result, it proved difficult to bring on board investors or cast actors for the show. However, after a decade of the script being kept in his drawer, he realised that now was the perfect time to show the piece around, as "we are living in a time where those games are actually happening around us and have become relevant to our world," said Hwang.

Meanwhile, Netflix released a video teaser of the series on 17 August, and within a month it garnered more than 6000 likes and 5000 shares. Banking on the popularity of the series, Netflix Korea also created an experiential execution with a playground at Itaewon Station boasting a similar concept to the show. 


As the series continues to gain popularity, MARKETING-INTERACTIVE also saw brands across Asia joining in the fun to trendjack the series with localised #Squidgames promotions. Here's how the brands got creative with the series. 

Circles.Life Singapore 

Not one to shy away from trendjacking stunts, Circles.Life played up its rewards and perks offerings, through Facebook and Instagram posts challenging consumers to "game on".

Domino's Malaysia

Hundreds of Domino's Malaysia customers received an invitation to #SamaSamaJaga (safeguarding together), enticing customers to purchase two regular pizzas at a cheaper price. This was done in collaboration with the agency, 16TWO. 16TWO is a merger between Creative Tomato and TWITTERJAYA.

FamilyMart Malaysia 

FamilyMart Malaysia releases "invitation card", indicating that slots to enter its stores are now available to the public.

Inside Scoop Malaysia 

Inside Scoop gets creative with the Squid Game. #myinsidescoop.

MyBurgerLab Malaysia

MyBurgerLab Malaysia hosted a "Sabotage Content" in honour of the series, where it played up the colloquial term "sabo" asking consumers to tag their pals  in the comment section of the Facebook post.

KyoChon Malaysia 

KyoChon Malaysia played up its promotions in a rather simple manner by asking consumers to share their favourite game from the series.

Nandos Singapore 

Nandos Singapore invited its customers to come and takeaway its food - and of course challenged consumers to try their iconic peri peri hot sauce if they dared. This was done in collaboration with the agency, Fishermen Integrated Singapore.

Shopee Malaysia 

Promoting its ShopeeFood Malaysia tab, Shoppee Malaysia prepared free delivery and food discount vouchers. It also added that  "its childs play" to win these prizes.┬Čif_t=feed_comment


Taking a different route from "invitation cards", Sunway Malaysia approached its execution in a Pyramid's game style held in the Sunway shopping mall. The mall hired on ground staff to dress as characters from the series for an added oomph factor.

Sungei Wang Plaza Kuala Lumpur

Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL)

UniKL took a stab at the series as well, releasing a Facebook post, saying "why bother yourself in #Squidgame", addressing the public's worry about funding when continuing studies to higher levels.

Witty remarks also flooded the net, poking fun at the series, saying that it was similar to food delivery service platforms, foodpanda and GrabFood.

This is not the first time brands have taken inspiration from series or films for its marketing strategies. After the release of the movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, brands across Asia were quick to trendjack actor Simu Liu's past stock images in a witty attempt to showcase its offerings. Aside from series or films, brands are also taking inspiration from celebrities and events such as the Met Gala. Breaking the net with her Met Gala ensemble, Kim Kardashian has inspired brands to get creative on social. 

Have you seen any other inky executions? Let us know at!

Power up your PR and communications efforts today with MARKETING-INTERACTIVE's PR Asia Week on 1 and 2 December. Learn ways to build an evidence-based practice, up the ante on your strategies, and be head and shouldersabove your competition. Click here to register today!

Related articles: 
Money Heist roundup: Netflix goes on a global marketing heist ahead of release
Netflix MY remixes 'Bella Ciao' in Spotify playlist to create hype for Money Heist
Brands hijack Shang-Chi actor's past stock images on social media
Kim Kardashian's Met Gala look inspires brands to get creative on social



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