3 Marketing Lessons from Squid Game

3 Marketing Lessons from Squid Game

The South Korean survival drama television series Squid Game took the world by storm, dominating the global Netflix charts for 29 consecutive days and attracting a whopping 142 million viewers worldwide in its first month alone.

Our digital marketing agency in Bangkok identified several valuable marketing lessons from Squid Game, which also overlap with some of our own core marketing strategies. Below are three key lessons adopted by the characters in Squid Game, which also resonate especially well in the world of marketing. (Warning: Spoilers ahead)

Enter the game with good strategy

Strategy can be a lifesaver, letting people (and businesses) out-perform their rivals over time.

In the Tug-of-War game from Episode 4 of Squid Game, the wise old man provides a valuable strategy to help his team succeed against a visibly stronger opponent. The strategy – which includes member positioning, body weight allocation, and pull-timing – helps the protagonists win and causes the losers to fall to their deaths.

Survival and success in the business world aren’t quite as dramatic, but a well-planned strategy prior to entering the “game” can likewise make all the difference. Every business starts with limited resources, which should be leveraged to maximum effect.

When executed well, the right marketing strategy enables businesses to drive revenue and ROI, by consistently engaging with their audience in a meaningful way. Even if your products or services do not “out-muscle” your competitors, a superior marketing strategy will allow you to out-shine them.

Establish your authority  

In Episode 7, a contestant reveals crucial information: He can detect a visual difference between normal and tempered glass, even though the two varieties look identical to most people. When met with skepticism, the contestant explains: “I worked at a glass factory for 30 years.” He proceeds to make two consecutive jumps onto the tempered glass, avoiding death and showing the way forward. The other players, in awe, quickly fall in line behind his leadership.

Notice how the contestant first makes a claim of expertise, then proceeds to demonstrate by example. In marketing, this is called establishing your authority. When you make a name for yourself as a reputable and trustworthy professional, showing through testimonials and case studies that you have solved similar problems in the past, potential customers are more likely to trust you – and existing ones will tend to become more loyal.

Keep the creative juices flowing 

Creativity is the heart and soul of marketing, from strategy all the way to ultimate conversion. In a fast-changing world, the most effective messaging techniques will constantly shift, with businesses needing creativity to successfully adapt.

In Episode 3 of Squid Game, the show’s main protagonist unfortunately chooses an umbrella shape that he needs to carve out of a honeycomb. However, instead of using the metal pin to make his carvings like everyone else, he discovers an unorthodox method: Melting the honeycomb by licking the reverse side. Eventually, he pops the umbrella shape out just in the nick of time. 

By constantly thinking outside the box, businesses can find similar shortcuts. Squid Game itself became a mega-hit series specifically by not following the traditional sitcom or crime drama format that other shows had adopted. As it turns out, audiences love original material, as long as it makes sense and is executed well. Whether your goal is to make a honeycomb umbrella or connect with your market, the creative approach will usually lead to better results.

Are you ready to step up your game? 

A big part of Squid Game’s success comes from its universal appeal. The themes and insights from this TV series can be readily applied by businesses as part of their marketing efforts. 

The world of marketing is filled with common mistakes and pitfalls – and while the occasional mistake isn’t fatal in the real world, the fate of each business, in a very real sense, depends on absorbing some version of the lessons outlined above.

Although the contestants of Squid Game must enter their “battlefield” blindly, today’s companies have the opportunity to learn the relevant rules and strategies in advance. Let our digital marketing agency in Bangkok be your guide, leading your business past each obstacle and towards marketing success. Contact us today to get started!


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