Rebecca Flitton – Senior Account Manager

Ok, so I think I’m *just* about over the fact that Love Island is over for another year (sobs)! Only another 280 days (ish) until we get to see who is who’s type on paper, just who is getting a text and more importantly whether the winners will take up as much space in our hearts as Dani and Jack.

If you’ve been living under a rock for the whole of summer, most probably melting I would expect, then you might not understand any of the above references. But this year, Love Island broke a lot of records.

It got more applicants than Oxford or Cambridge combined, broke TV viewing records at the start and finale, and has been so successful our friends over the pond are now starting their own series.

But what makes it so successful? Well, this series, ITV worked directly with 10 brands; Superdrug as the main sponsor, Primark, Ministry of Sound, Rimmel London, Echo Falls, Jet2 Holidays, Kellogg’s, Lucozade Zero, Missguided and Samsung.

With so many big name brands on their books, it gives a whole range of viewers the chance to feel a part of the Island, whether you’re using the Rimmel collection or entering the Kellogg’s competition at the breakfast table. And it’s a successful partnership for the brands too: Missguided saw sales spike around 40% between 7pm and midnight when the show aired, making it the most successful place to reach their captive audience.

Love Island’s dedicated app was also no mean feat. ITV’s half-year report showed Love Island app downloads of 2 million, with over 10 million votes cast through it. Research by Ogury also found it had a higher percentage of active users than other big brands including Uber, BBC News and ASOS. It was key to their engagement, with push notifications being sent to users’ phones teasing them with a “First Look” clip during the afternoon and being an easy-to-use location for even more content such as the official podcast. (Read more on our love for podcasts here)

Social media is also another key channel for Love Island brands and fans alike, with Instagram being central to any strategy. Brands such as In the Style made the most of the night’s action with memes and themed discount codes, whilst the 2.2 million subscribers to the official Love Island account got behind-the-scenes content to give them their lunchtime fix of the villa.

Instagram stories also played a key channel for brands such as Missguided who were hot-off-the-press to get the villa stars answering Q&A’s and being the source of gossip, along with making it possible to buy an outfit seen on screen by swiping up (having supplied the wardrobe for the contestants). Keeping this content authentic was key to its success to keep people shopping and engaged until the final episode and onwards.

Speaking about those contestants, one other key to Love Island’s success is allowing them to shape and frame their tone of voice for the year. Remember last year’s ‘Type on paper’ and how it changed to ‘Oh hell’ this year. These catchphrases become the stars of memes, Insta-stories and podcast fame before being brought into viewers everyday language, further unifying them with the show.

So what can we learn from the success?

  1. Brand partnerships can be a key path to success, but the brands need to align with your audience for it to be successful on both sides
  2. Multi-channel is crucial to keeping a buzz going – whether you create an engaging app or keep the conversation going through a podcast, you don’t need to rely on one single method
  3. Content needs to feel authentic and natural whether that’s through social media or blog articles. If you want your audience to engage, speak to them on their level

So that’s it for another year, I’ll be sitting patiently drinking out of my official merchandise bottle waiting for the next series to start.


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