Pay closer attention to Squid Game and how it's being co-opted in social, the metaverse, and more

Read to the end for the best NSFW TikTok account you'll follow this week

You are reading Social Signals, Greg’s weekly email about creative, digital, social, and cultural signals worth noting (and sometimes a dumb viral video worth sharing with your friends). Today’s email was written to EVINSPACY by Cassettes Won’t Listen. Follow @gregswan on TwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn. If you haven’t already, subscribe below:


Squid Game in the Metaverse, the Real World, and Our Feeds

Netflix’s new series Squid Game from South Korea features a plot that is survival-game meets Truman Show meets Black Mirror and more. Netflix co-founder Ted Sarandos said, “Squid Game will definitely be our biggest non-English language show in the world, for sure, and there’s a very good chance it’s going to be our biggest show ever.

The series turns playground games like "Red Light, Green Light" into deadly challenges and has been ripe for trending topics (18B views on TikTok), memes, user-created Roblox experiences where you can play the games, and a physical activation at a shopping center.

Squid Game is important to watch from a marketing and cultural signals perspective as we watch Gen Z co-opt the plot and create metaverse experiences that gamify the show in ways its creators couldn’t have anticipated. And on a global scale. Which makes the show both breakthrough in its social commentary and also participatory in culture unlike we’ve seen before. After all, “a player who refuses to play will be eliminated.”

TikTok World Recap

This week TikTok held its first-ever business showcase event (similar to Facebook’s F8 and Snapchat’s Partner Summit). And although its servers were crashed for the first 45 minutes of the day, the burgeoning platform shared some new tools for marketers and creators as we head into 2022.

TikTok Creator Marketplace has been overhauled and features more performance insights, sorting tools, and real-time monitoring of campaigns. There’s a Creator Marketplace API, which means the big social tools most brands use should support TikTok soon. There’s the TikTok Creative Exchange, which is a self-serve portal that will match brands with vetted creative service providers to help them produce high-performing ads, suited to their brief and objectives. There’s the Creative Center, which is designed to help advertisers understand what's working on the platform, in real-time. There’s a new tool called ‘Dynamic Scene’, which will use machine learning to break your videos into multiple scenes.

And a significant amount of changes and new advertising products for in-stream shopping, ecommerce, measurement tracking, and more. Read a more thorough digest of TikTok World here.

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Greg

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