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Brands — get grafting or get mugged off

Posted by Fiona Todd on 14th June 2019

It’s now two weeks into this year’s series of ITV’s Love Island and we’ve already witnessed a dumping, six new islanders and several jealous meltdowns.

Nothing has changed from the previous series, right?

But what about the huge amount of commercial opportunities for brands? With the debut episode of 2019’s love-obsessed reality show receiving an average audience of 3.3 million people, brands would be mugging themselves off not to jump at the chance.

Love Island remains one of the most popular reality shows in the UK, so it’s no wonder ITV is continuing to make the most out of it in terms of advertising. This year, the channel has partnered with 8 brands including Uber Eats, Jet2holidays, Lucozade Zero and more — all continually receiving air-time several times a night for 8 weeks.

The broadcaster has also replaced fashion retailer Missguided with I Saw It First as this year’s fashion sponsor. But what makes this partnership even stronger for the women’s clothing brand is the fact that they’re providing outfits for the islanders’ dates — a perfect way to target the 16-34 year olds tuning in each night.

But the commercial opportunities don’t stop there.

The Love Island personalised water bottles, which made an appearance a couple of years ago, were so popular the show has now extended its ‘shop’ with a range of items inspired by contestants. From makeup and suitcases to washbags and phone cases; they’re all available to buy through the app. According to the i, Love Island sold over a quarter of a million of the £15 bottles over the course of last year’s series. That’s almost £3.75m — in water bottles.

In addition to the refillable bottles, the show has moved away from its own branded products and partnered with Polaroid to sell a range of sunglasses — all of which can be seen worn by the islanders themselves.

It’s clear there’s a huge opportunity here for brands to jump on the Love Island bandwagon, but for those who have already missed out on this year’s slot — fear not.

Despite being in the second week of the series, brands must still keep their eyes peeled and be ready to cash in on the summer of love. According to eBay Advertising, Love Island inspires consumers to shop for seen-on-TV products, looks and lifestyle — both in real time and throughout the series.

During the first episode of 2018’s show, searches for “yellow playsuit” on eBay jumped up by 276%, compared to just two hours before. And it’s not just fashion. eBay’s research also revealed that many shoppers are motivated to bulk up their own fitness regimes, thanks to the toned bodies and six packs constantly on our screens.

While becoming a sponsor of the show involves big bucks and probably a lot of competition, brands shouldn’t shy away from the Love Island opportunity. Brands should be capitalising on ‘second screening’ — offering consumers the must-have products seen on TV while they are watching the show and simultaneously browsing and shopping online.

On paper, this opportunity seems like a brand’s perfect type!

Fiona Todd

Fiona’s early PR career began in a Hollywood film studio, but she left the glamour of entertainment in favour of the variety and greater opportunity offered by tech PR. Fi’s calm demeanour and pragmatic approach has helped her win the hearts and minds of her clients ever since. The secret to Fiona’s zen-like approach to account management is her love of yoga, helping her maintain mental and physical wellbeing after dealing with the daily demands of busy agency life.