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Competing for the PRize: Brands and the “Squid Game” Buzz

Published on October 19, 2021, at 3:47 p.m.
by Evvy Lusco.

Photo by Netflix on Instagram

With hundreds of millions of fans and over 22.8 billion views on TikTok, “Squid Game” has become a public relations campaign must-have for numerous brands. Since its premiere in late September, the Korean series has generated thousands of mentions on social media, making it ideal for brands to jump on the bandwagon.

From Louis Vuitton’s 2019 partnership with YouTube content creator Emma Chamberlain to its summer 2021 campaign featuring TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, the brand is no stranger to using influencers for brand awareness. Thus, it comes as no surprise that Louis Vuitton is harnessing the success of the “Squid Game” Netflix series.

South Korean actress HoYeon Jung was recently selected as Louis Vuitton’s newest global ambassador. Creative Director Nicolas Ghesquiere immediately recognized the talent of the actress from the global chart-topping series “Squid Game.”

With “Squid Game” being the most talked about television show of 2021, brands aside from Louis Vuitton are utilizing social media campaigns to turn the series’ viewers into their consumers. “Squid Game” has generated considerable social media buzz, making it the perfect opportunity for those brands to apply that same publicity.

Photo by Dominos on Instagram

Louis Vuitton is far from the only brand to employ the public relations benefits of the “Squid Game” trend. In fact, brands like Dominos, Pepsi and Gillette are getting creative with their social media tactics in order to capitalize on the publicity from the popular show. Dominos Malaysia created a “Squid Game”-inspired discount card and posted it on its social media using the series title as a hashtag to spread news of its deal. Pepsi posted an image on Instagram recreating the honeycomb game from an episode with its logo. Gillette Pakistan shared a photo of shaving cream with the famous circle, triangle and square shaved out of the foam.

Photo by Gillette on Instagram

But that’s not all — many more brands have incorporated the hit series into campaigns.

Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos predicted the show to be not only the most popular non-English show in the world but the streaming platform’s biggest show ever. The companies making campaigns related to the series hope to capture the attention of viewers worldwide and share the popularity of “Squid Game.”

A member of Netflix’s publicity team, Nick Jones-Liang, said impact is one of the company’s most valued concepts when it comes to creating buzz and consumer enjoyment. Without a doubt, “Squid Game” did a number on the viewers and brands that incorporated it into their public relations campaigns.

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