Why is Squid Game a marketing hit?

Squid Game has sparked our interest these last couple of days. Apart from us in the office who are discussing (maybe judging) characters in the show, we cannot resist admiring this whole marketing stunt.

The show narrates the adventures of the participants of a macabre game where they risk their lives to win a billionaire prize. Since its release, the show has become the first South Korean series to reach the top of the Netflix chart and its brutality got us hooked!

Marketing in Squid Game

Immediately in the start, we can see a marketing trick done by one of the characters who is recruiting people to join and play the game. He knows all about the characters in-depth and knows exactly who to approach. Kind of reminds us of Google reading our mind these days and showing ads based on what you're talking about out loud.

Marketing and content were done so that the producers had the Western audience in mind. The games that are played in the show are native to Asia or Korea. However, the first game they play „Red light, green light“ is known to all because we played it as kids. „Red light, green light“ is shown in the trailer to gain the audience's attention but also Western recognition. Coincidence? I think not.


One of the main reasons why this TV show is so popular is the constant tension between each game and its rules. If there is a high risk followed by a big reward, it's very hard to resist not playing the game.

Similar strategies are often used in the marketing world and you've probably been faced with it. Examples are all around us, but this simple trick is often used in Sign Up forms.


Squid Game was based on games the characters played as kids. The show interacted with the audience and tickled their mind to make them guess what the next game is.

In marketing, we can use nostalgic elements like this to bring back childhood memories. The popularity of Squid Game is not based on luck. They used nostalgia, modern design, and amazing banding to make people addicted to watching it!

We all LOVE memes!

We cannot forget to put an image of famous Dalgona cookies used as a game prop in Squid Game. The game has been exploding on social media. There is an endless fan discussion about it which allows them to gain more audience. Let’s start with memes. It can be contextualized into finance or tech memes. We’re bringing you some of our faves:

Dalgona cookies in honor of a crash that happened on Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp a couple of days ago.

Googled this. Oops.

True. We need that phone ASAP.

Feeling this pic.

TikTok Trend

One of the challenges in the show is now a TikTok trend.

The challenge with Dalgona candy or a honeycomb toffee has inspired TikTokers to create their own.

The candy is made with a few ingredients: sugar and baking soda. However, the hard part is eating around the image imprinted in the candy without breaking it.

Squid Game creates a social discussion that even though you haven’t maybe heard about the show is going to drive you to watch the show.

It’s absolutely worth watching if you can stand all violence. Be prepared to dedicate the whole day or night and binge-watch it!

Do you have your favorite marketing theory based on Squid Game? Let us know in the comments.


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