Written by Molly Conroy, Account Manager at Ingenuity.
ITV’s hit summer reality show ‘Love Island’ has been taking over our evenings for over a month now. With only a few days to go, how will the six million viewers reported to be watching avidly this year cope having their evenings back? More importantly, how will brands look to capitalise on this year’s latest stars.
Is engaging with 2019’s Love Island graduates a smart move for brands or a potential risk? As the show’s popularity increases should brands be taking more responsibility and have more awareness of the issues surrounding the show such as diversity, contestant wellbeing and body image, instead of jumping on the bandwagon and entering the crowded millennial market.
Kantar Media states Love Island dominates social engagement revealing that the show was the most talked about television series on Twitter in 2018. It will come as no surprise if this year’s series follows suit. Aside from online audience engagement, the show opens the door for brands giving unparalleled access to the UK millennial market through multi-channel engagement.
This year the 2019 stars have been styled by fashion brand ISAWITFIRST. After the huge success last year of Missguided. The fashion brand successfully noticed and took advantage of the “second screening” trend, allowing fans to watch and shop at the same time. What better way to show off the latest summer range than having the Love Island stars model them daily in the most idyllic summer setting, with live second screen updates on social media featuring links to the products. This type of marketing is less invasive and has the potential to be more successful than launching a range after the show. Consumers can see the clothes on real women and brands make the islanders style icons with minimal effort.
Fans feel they can relate certain scenarios and relationships in the show to their own personal lives. This helps the show come across as more authentic to viewers. Today, millennials shy away from direct sales and marketing (a huge 84% of millennials don’t trust traditional advertising according to Adobe earlier this year). But do these gifted clothes take away any form of personal style from the cast? Do they create an unrealistic holiday image that contributes to irresponsible messaging? Or is this the perfect opportunity for brands to help mould their own perfect influencer?
The focus for brands doesn’t however just apply to the islanders but also to show host Caroline Flack who hugely influential. eBay reported a 275% increase in searches for a ‘yellow playsuit’ after Caroline was seen wearing one last year. This further highlights the power of second screening and the huge opportunity brands have with millennials when it comes to viewing and shopping simultaneously.
Interestingly, some fashion brands continue to work with the islanders to launch new bespoke ranges once they’ve left the villa. But this raises the question, whether the islanders actually have to work just as hard as the brands to make sure they stay relevant? Especially when every year a new batch of singletons entertain the nation. The show’s success has now gone global. The US has launched their own version giving brands across the Atlantic the opportunity to capitalise on Love Island’s popularity.
Viewers and brands subconsciously build relationships with the islanders – the nightly viewing makes it almost impossible not to. The daily office debriefs and WhatsApp chats, created just to discuss last night’s scandal, are testament to the high levels of engagement the show generates. It is also fascinating to see Restaurants/ Bars also capitalising on the show by hosting ‘Love Island Final’ viewing parties! (I am sure many of you reading this may have contemplated your own home viewing party of the Final.)
So, should ITV and Love Island be praised for the opportunity it brings for brands worldwide or is it creating unrealistic personas? For brands to successfully capitalise on the Love Island hype they need to make sure they are consistent and time sensitive with content creation across the summer. All the while making sure they are fully aware of the negative connotations the show could bring to them and others.
At Ingenuity we understand the wider agency and brand relationship. With insights gained from years of experience and having worked with the best-of-the-best on both sides of the brand-agency relationship, we can help facilitate viable partnerships that last. If you’d like to learn more from our insights or want to gain a clearer view of the agency-brand ecosystem, contact Duncan on firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.