Netflix’s surprise global hit Squid Game has taken on a life of its own, with agency Wunder co-opting the show’s signature plot device to reach out to Americans worried about debt, playing on the themes of the show.
The runaway South Korean hit centers on the corrupting influence of money at opposite ends of the wealth spectrum, with the former dishing out distinctive golden geometric business cards to lure the indebted to a grisly end.
Miami-based Relief has co-opted this idea to commission 10,000 lookalike business cards, which invite recipients to take practical steps to get their finances in shape without recourse to more extreme measures. It has placed them in the city centers of New York and Miami.
The brainchild of entrepreneur Jason Saltzman, the debt firm forgoes brutal interpretations of playground classics to help out the indebted, relying on AI and collective bargaining instead to pull people up, with its themed calling cards serving to build name recognition.
Stephen Flynn, creative director at Wunder, explained that the answer came by the luck of timing. “The timing couldn’t have been better. As we were ideating on getting people interested in a real debt solution, the entire world was talking about Squid Game. Which conveniently enough, as we all know, is centered on 456 players who are deeply in debt and playing deadly games for the chance to win a large sum of money.”
The business cards have already proven problematic for Netflix after producers were forced to edit out the printed phone number after a businesswoman in Seongju, south-east South Korea, was bombarded by fans eager to put their life on the line for a chance at riches.
Confident that they can evade any similar snafu or a a phone call of their own from Netflix’s lawyers, Flynn added that using a craft stock and a similar look should make it recognizable without actually spelling it out as Squid Game. “And for the four people who don’t [know the show], we’ll settle for them just reading a card with a very straightforward message about debt solution.”
Squid Game has become the most-watched show in Netflix history after racking up 111m views as per Netflix’s measures, which we know is in excess of a two-minute view.