How Squid Game is winning the influencer marketing battle royale

Netflix’s brutal TV show has become a global phenomenon, with major brands battling to sign the stars generating tens of millions of followers. 

The South Korean drama Squid Game has become the streaming platform’s most popular series yet. 

Last week, Netflix declared the show drew 111 million fans since its debut a month ago, leading to a deluge of attention from brands seeking to cash in on the unprecedented global viral hit. The show depicts a dystopian world in which marginalised people are pitted against one another in traditional children’s games. While the victor can earn billions in cash, the losing players are killed. 

Spreading around the world by word of mouth, especially via social media, its popularity has crossed borders and cultures, topping Netflix charts in more than 80 countries.

One of its biggest stars, Jung Ho-yeon has become the most popular South Korean actress on Instagram, rising from 400,000 to a huge 21million followers at the time of writing. 

Such popularity led to Louis Vuitton announcing their new ambassador last week, featuring a picture of Ho-yeon modelling the French luxury fashion house’s clothes, jewellery and watches.

In a statement, Ho-yeon said: "It is an honour to start my acting career with Louis Vuitton, the brand I have modeled for. I look forward to all the moments with Louis Vuitton as a global ambassador." 

A post announcing her Louis Vuitton partnership has racked up 1.2million likes and more than 37,500 comments since it was first published.

Other global brands, including Adidas and Italian fashion house Fendi have also signed deals with HoYeon, keen to exploit her worldwide fame and millions of social-media followers.

The post announcing her Adidas partnership has racked up more than 9 million likes and 43,200 comments since it was first published on October 5th. .

Meanwhile, fellow Squid Game co-stars and veteran South Korean actors Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo have recently started their own Instagram accounts. “Is this… how you do it?” wrote Lee in the caption of his first-ever selfie on the social media platform. The post has earned more than 2million likes.