When Love Island landed on our screens in 2015, no one could predict the influence (or literal chokehold) it would hold over society for years to come.
After the show's initial success, viewers were left yearning for more. One season a year simply wasn’t enough, so the franchise grew; a spawn of shows across the world, including US and Australian Love Island, launched, as well as Winter Love Island as if all of the prior wasn’t enough.
The formula of young contestants giving each other (extremely) bad advice, being detained in a secluded villa and getting increasingly delusional in the heat is frankly genius. No matter which side of the Love Island fence you sit on, you can’t deny they’ve nailed the premise of creating a golden reality show.
Twice a year, the nation sits down to invest eight weeks of our lives in the undisputed comrades of chaos, but what can brands take away from this?
Unlikely as it may seem, it’s not all lounging on daybeds, slowly losing sanity and drinking from those water bottles. We’ve done a deep dive into the lessons (yes, really) that you can learn from Love Island.
Identifying The Right Influencer
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool in the social sphere, and Love Island has become a catalyst for producing influencers overnight.
It’s no secret that contestants enter the show nowadays for a brand deal rather than love - even fan-favourite Molly-Mae has admitted to approaching the show initially as a business move (*gasps in Spanish*). It’s become the end goal of almost every contestant.
An average of 92% of consumers are more likely to trust an influencer than a brand, so picking the right person to represent your brand is key. Even if Love Island isn’t your cup of tea, it pays to keep a watchful eye on each season’s favourite contestants. Selecting the right influencers will always do wonders for your revenue.
As soon as influencers leave the villa, brands flock in to secure exclusive deals with the influencers who would best appeal to their target audience. At just 22 years old, Molly-Mae made headlines with a £500, 000 deal with Pretty Little Thing, only to then become the brand’s creative director. Amber Gill, the winner of the 2019 series, became a brand ambassador for MissPap - worth one million pounds; it was the biggest deal to come from Love Island at the time! Even if you can’t afford the rates of a Love Island cast member, mirroring their trends and targeting their audiences is beneficial, especially in the fashion and beauty sectors.
Finding the Right Demographic
Love Island knows a thing or two when it comes to communicating with its audiences. As producers have cleverly tapped into the prized 18-34 demographic (who take up 58% of the viewership), every episode of the show dominates the trending hashtags on Twitter. Even if you’d rather watch paint dry than Love Island, you’re probably well-versed in the memes and catchphrases that have come from the show just from passively scrolling - they’re unavoidable.
According to Kantar, in 2018, Love Island was the most Tweeted about show, with a staggering 75 million Tweets and 28 billion overall impressions across a 12-month period. Love Islands' social media accounts are always ahead of the game with trending moments or opening up discussions with their audiences.
The quotes and sayings from contestants have slowly but steadily found their way into the public’s consciousness. If Shakespeare were alive, he’d be foaming at the mouth that he didn’t think of ‘my type on paper’, ‘eggs in baskets’, ‘Can I pull you for a chat?’ or the cursed ‘I know, and I also want to be the person that gets up and makes everyone a coffee, so everyone’s ready for the morning’. Out of context, these expressions probably wouldn’t mean all that much to a 60-year-old, but they’d instantly resonate with those in the 18-34 age bracket!
Evolving with Audiences
Another lesson to be learnt from Love Island is its ability to cater to audience demands. Last season, in order to take a step back from its fast-fashion roots, Love Island teamed up with eBay, which would see the contestants wearing ‘pre-loved garments’.
According to studies, 20% of Brits now buy more recycled and second-hand clothing than they did in 2020. Love Island not only acknowledged this but also tailored its marketing strategy to it. In an attempt to appear more eco-friendly, the show's contestants were all dressed in items from eBay, which were then listed on-site for consumers to buy, encouraging second-hand clothing rather than brand-new items.
Evolving with audiences and keeping up with consumer trends is something that all brands and businesses can easily mirror.
Increase Brand Awareness
It’s extremely easy to underestimate the power of Love Island, but it’s undoubtedly become one of the most-watched shows on TV. In 2022, the finale attracted a staggering 3.4 million viewers - the biggest finale since 2019, which is an increase of 100,000 year on year!
Having your brand affiliated in any way with Love Island or even the discourse around it on social media is a surefire way to increase your brand awareness. For example, the fast-fashion brand Missguided reported astronomical growth after appearing as the show’s sponsor.
Engage New Audiences
Love Island could teach a masterclass or two on how to both engage existing audiences and attract new ones. A key element to this is building up FOMO - something that most brands and businesses should take note of. We know all too well the chime of ‘Tomorrow Night…’ and the ‘First Look’ teasers on socials and how they instantly hook the audience into wanting to tune in.
Building up anticipation is something that brands can easily replicate. Whether it’s teasing new products on social media platforms, encouraging app downloads or running viral competitions to attract new audiences, Love Island’s marketing is a prime example of how to gain new audiences and nurture existing ones too!
And there we have it… Who would’ve thought that Love Island could teach us a thing or two in marketing? Stranger things have happened, right?
Need a hand with your own marketing strategy but don’t know where to start? That’s where we come in. Get in touch with us, or hit us up on socials to see what we could do for your brand!