THE STAR – What better way to promote a new TV show than scaring unsuspecting passers-by?
In a marketing stunt for a Korean thriller Squid game, which went viral worldwide, Netflix installed a replica of the giant animatronic doll that appears in Episode 1 at the Robinsons Galleria Mall in Quezon City, Philippines.
On the show, hundreds of indebted contestants are mysteriously gathered to participate in children’s games for a huge cash prize – but with literally life and death consequences. The first game is red light, green light, supervised by the robotic doll, who explains that any competitor whose movement is detected after the light turns red will be “eliminated”. As is quickly revealed, this means that they will immediately be slaughtered and killed.
Manila area mall replica doll watches over crosswalk to catch jaywalkers, chanting weird Red light, green light, 1-2-3 song from the show.
If a pedestrian tries to cross against the “don’t walk” red light, she turns her head and flashes red eyes to identify the culprit. Ouch.
Since its premiere on September 17, the violent K-drama has taken the world by storm. Squid game has consistently ranked number one in series titles in countries around the world, according to Netflix.
This week, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos said the show has a very good chance of becoming the streamer’s biggest show (and will certainly be the most popular non-English original series).
“We didn’t see that coming, in terms of global popularity,” Sarandos told Vox Media’s recent Code conference. To date, the most watched Netflix original TV show in its first 28 days of release is Bridgerton.