PRMMS Hero 2024
marketing interactive Digital Marketing Asia Singapore 2024 Digital Marketing Asia Singapore 2024
RapidKL jumps on Squid Game hype train by using iconic scene for card promo

RapidKL jumps on Squid Game hype train by using iconic scene for card promo

share on

Netflix's latest series Squid Game is causing excitement globally and the show has reached the top spot in countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East, according to a report by The Star. Banking on its popularity, RapidKL drew inspiration from one of the iconic scenes in the series to stir up chatter among netizens on social media and promote its transportation card. RapidKL posted a video clip on Facebook showing two men playing ddakji, a popular game among children in South Korea played using folded paper tiles. The loser in the video ends up getting "slapped" by the other individual. Along with the video is the caption: "Are you still using tokens to ride the train? It’s easier to use our card!"

This scene is similar to the one in Squid Game, where an unnamed character played by actor Gong Yoo approaches the protagonist at a train station to ask if he would like to play a game of ddakji. The protagonist will receive a reward of 100,000 won if he is able to flip over the unnamed character's tile. If the protagonist loses, he gets slapped by the unnamed character. RapidKL's video had more than 200k views on Facebook and more than 11k views on TikTok at the time of writing. 

Rafizah Amran, deputy chief communications and marketing officer for Prasarana Malaysia, told A+M that the Squid Game inspired video clip was a way of how the company uses social media to communicate with its passengers. The company initially created a TikTok account for RapidKL to share messages about public transport etiquette, current issues such as COVID-19 pandemic SOP, and information about its new products. However, the team faced the challenge of making the account interesting and relevant for those who do not take public transport. 

After running a six-part stories series based on the trend "Tell me you are a Malaysian without telling me you are a Malaysian", Rafizah said RapidKL has since received daily suggestions from its passengers and fans on major social trends. From there, the company decided to pivot its strategy to align its social media content with the right trends. "Using Squid Game to convey the message about queue jumpers was an easy fit," added Rafizah.

The team mapped out a six-month content plan that is divided into eight categories: products and services, heroes, corporate, public services, partners, #RapidKLSupportLocal, COVID-19 and Stories. "The brief that I gave to the social media team was to keep it short and keep it light. But at the end of the day, all TikTok content must have involvement from our staff, passengers and social media followers," she explained. RapidKL employees from various divisions and business units are used as talents in the videos to engage, motivate and raise the brand further.

In addition to TikTok, RapidKL also uses a variety of channels such as Facebook and Instagram to engage consumers. According to Rafizah, the channels appeal to different customer segments and each channel has a "personality", for example, its unique voice and style. 

"We get to learn what kind of messaging and style works, what would cut across the board, what different customers are interested in and also their media consumption habits. All of these are interesting intel for marketers such as us since we serve hundreds of thousands passengers daily," she added. Its efforts have led to its TikTok following grow by 600% and the number of followers more than doubled. Engagement on Facebook and Instagram have also increased. 

When asked about its marketing plans for 2022, Rafizah explained that it would mainly revolve around improving customer experience at all touchpoints. "Investing in social media, digital assets such as PULSE by Prasarana and marketing automation has shown to bring incredible ROI for us. I especially love that social media allows us to include our passengers and fans in the ideation process and I believe they love it too," she added.

As for the team, its challenge is to balance content versus trends, and Rafizah describes this learning process to be a steep one. According to her, the team needs to be able to pivot to hot trends quickly which can be challenging on the production front. "But as you can see, we love what we do, and we are happy to take this challenge head-on," she added.

Power up your PR and communications efforts today with A+M'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 shoulders above your competition. Click here to register today!

Related articles:
HK brands flaunt their versions of Squid Game through marketing
Netflix's 'Squid Game' gets brands in a frenzy with their own marketing games

share on

Follow us on our Telegram channel for the latest updates in the marketing and advertising scene.

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top marketing stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's marketing development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window