The premise of the show is that “desperately poor people” are “invited to compete in children's themed games with deadly consequences if they lose.” The show had almost no press or marketing to back it when it debut, but it still went viral. Here are three important lessons for marketers to take note of:
- Word-of-mouth matters and is often more successful than the largest paid campaigns
Word-of-mouth is considered an all-time classic technique for a reason. It can’t be bought in the typical sense, but brands can attempt to trigger buzz or waves to fuel word-of-mouth. “The moral of the story is that no paid ad campaign of any scale could accomplish the success that Squid Game achieved using just word-of-mouth, and there is a psychology that supports this.”
- A brand with a viral TikTok trend is bound for success
TikTok set a new standard for how companies should interact with their consumers. It is now acceptable for large brands to “comment on a post without having to be professional.” In fact, when a serious brand takes an informal approach, it often gets more attention and, as a result, more free impressions.
“Squid Game picked up a fascinating amount of traction on [TikTok], almost forming an army of viewers that advocate and share the inside jokes. The great advantage for Squid Game is that the only way to understand the jokes going viral is to watch the show because of how specific they are. This can work great for a marketing strategy.”
- Consumers are unpredictable
“The third and most important lesson the show can teach us is that we really can't predict what consumers want next until they show us,” according to the article.
Sometimes consumers do not know what they want until they see it and then they show us they like it. That’s what happened with the Squid Game. “We can't always follow the conventional norm and depend on historic data to tell us what's next; innovative businesses should always consider taking calculated risks with their marketing strategies.”