Photo by Netflix

Viral Trend Marketing

Two words: Squid Game.

Since the gruesome and disturbing show launched on Netflix, became a trend on Tik Tok and then one of the most widely binged shows across the world, brands are looking at how effective their marketing strategies are. This show was an immediate success and became the most-watched show in Netflix’s history at 111 million views. A professor of Media Studies at CSU was even interviewed by CNN to weigh in on its popularity. With more brands jumping on the trend of using similar imagery as the show, it is just another big way that we see the marketing world shift.

What shows like Squid Game mean in the ever-changing marketing world

The old ways of marketing are still tried and true, billboards and newspaper ads still have a home and a demographic they reach. As the millennial and gen z groups get older, it is important to keep up with reaching those demographics and keeping up requires a dedication to trend following. As marketers, we know that trend following is important. We see the impacts viral videos and shows have on our friend groups and society as a whole, but no one expected just how viral this show would be. It took over social media, it had a huge success with word-of-mouth and because of that, the Squid Game following is continuing to grow.

We know trending sounds on Tik Tok and memes that spread like wildfire are fleeting, but they are still a very effective way of gaining brand awareness. Businesses have jumped on the Squid Game trend by creating business card lookalikes using similar designs as the show for coupons or free items, other places jumped onto the honeycomb cookie trend having their logo etched into one that looked just like one of the games on the show, bakeries even had tag lines that would draw in consumers because their locations have the capabilities to make cookies that are reminiscent of the “game” in the show.

What the takeaway is for marketers

While the viral trend-following style of marketing may not work for every client, it is still important to stay up to date with what’s new to make sure you can tap into new viral trends as soon as they happen and are relevant to the audience you are trying to reach. You never know when you will be able to use a horrifying show like Squid Game to promote baked goods, local tug of war tournaments or custom Halloween costumes.

When we look at the success of shows like Squid Game and the response to the brand marketing that follows, we get a better insight into what consumers are looking to see, and that free insight is invaluable. Finding a marketing company like Jet is also invaluable, it means that we can monitor the trends that fit your business and marketing needs. Above all, whether you actively use viral trend marketing or not, simply knowing what is out there and popular will always bring benefits to how the marketing game is changing – without having to actually play a game and possibly die just to find out.

Karlie Turner, Content Creator

Karlie is a recovering NPR host who made the switch from journalism to marketing because she loves helping clients elevate their brand identity and communication continuity. She loves getting to know the “voice” of each brand and as a part of the Jet team, she is excited to bring that passion to Jet clients.