By Geoffrey Stackhouse, Managing Director, Clarity Solutions
Does it feels like everyone’s talking about Netflix’s hit The Squid Game, the South Korean love child of Drag Race and The Sopranos?
Well that's because they are, and it’s a strategic conversation. The show is on track to be the platform’s most streamed series and the Netflix share price has hit a record high of US$645, up nearly 10% in the two weeks since the show’s release.
The Squid Game's popularity was driven by word of mouth, every comms strategy’s holy grail. And that’s down to the torrent of media coverage, social and mainstream, fuelled by the Netflix media team constantly pumping story angles using traditional News Values.
Did you know there’s been a 7800% spike in demand for white Vans - the shoes the players wear, probably from fans looking for Halloween costumes? This factoid has been reported in 2.4 million media stories in just a few hours - love the impact, timeliness and currency of this one.
The BBC, Washington Post and our own AFR took the novelty and human interest angles of the woman who owned the phone number getting prank calls. There are nearly 6 million reports on this riveting development and, while I haven’t checked them all, the top 100 is every publicist’s fantasy.
But social media is the real powerhouse with 20m+ posts on the honeycomb challenge alone. All the values combined in one shareable moment to change the world’s conversations.
It's sad, but not surprising, that the hard news angle - the wealth gap, debt crisis and hidden poverty in South Korean society - barely rates a mention. Clearly the zeitgeist has moved from social justice to pop culture.
So, if you want to bask in the media spotlight, combining news values with pop culture is a winning formula.
And I’m jumping on The Squid Game bandwagon with this blog, because yes, we do offer thought leadership training to help you find the news within your story and distil your arguments into insights. Hit me up if you want to know more.
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Strategy vs Ego
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Social Media’s Game Changer