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Squid Game and the Power of Word of Mouth Marketing

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Were you one of the 142 million viewers to watch the Korean series Squid Game, making it the biggest series launch in Netflix history?

We were too, despite not speaking the language or being your typical foreign movie lovers who like to delve into discussions on cinematography or the artistic lens. After discussing it with friends and clients, who turned out to be just like us, we were intrigued by what made people watch the show.

“Why Did You Watch Squid Game?” Answered.

Here’s just a few of the responses we received on why people watched Squid Game:

“Because it was Number One on the Top 10 Netflix Suggestions for a few weeks so I thought I’d give it a go.” 

“I saw a Facebook discussion talking about it on social media because apparently some kids had started replicating the games in the playground. I’d already heard about it but after that I just had to watch it to see what it was all about and what the games were.”

“There was a discussion about it at lunchtime at work and I felt left out [insert chuckle]. So I went home and made my partner watch it with me that evening.”

“I first saw a meme about it and then it was on my Netflix so I watched it.”  

After hearing these replies, our marketing brains started whirring. No matter the reason, the majority of responses pointed back to the power of word of mouth marketing…

How we crave to be socially in-the-know. How we value trusted opinions. How our peers influence our decisions.

It just goes to show that Word of Mouth can be your greatest asset in marketing and shouldn’t be overlooked. Whether it’s gathering and sharing testimonials, a campaign to nurture your audience (because 100 loyal fans telling their friends about you is better than 10,000 people who only followed you for a VIP weekend giveaway), or dedicating your efforts to grow a cult-like following who promote you organically for free, WOM is something to cultivate and encourage.

Examples of brands that invest time and money into WOM: 

Word of Mouth marketing isn’t merely Jack and Hannah discussing their new purchase over a pint in The Keg  (although this is certainly one traditional form of WOM). It can also refer to targeted campaigns designed to encourage large-scale sharing and capitalizing on modern platforms like social media:

1. Anthropologie, who enters you into a $100 draw if you leave a review on their website.

2. Red Bull, who relies heavily on influencer marketing with world-class sport stars and events as well as promoting user-generated content around extreme sports.

3. Dropbox, who created a referral program offering 500MB of free space for every referral.

4. Under Armour, who simply created an innovative, first-of-it’s-kind product that got everyone talking about it because it was different.

5. Squid Game, who used Netflix as a trusted platform to promote it and was found under their New & Popular as well as Top 10 lists.

We Want To Know!

Were you one of the 142 million to watch Squid Game? Why did you watch it?

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If you’d like to discuss your marketing or brand strategy for the upcoming year, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at info@mynetworks.ca. It’s our mission to help you create high-impact stories that get people excited to tell their friends and networks about you.

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