Love it or hate it, Love Island has become a huge part of popular culture, with nearly 4 million people tuning in from the UK alone. As the most watched show in ITV2’s history, it’s a dream come true for brands looking to make a connection with the elusive millennial.
When something this big takes off, brands need to pounce. Let’s have a look at how you can make a pop culture frenzy work for your brand.
1. Don’t be afraid to bask in the ripple effect
When a trend gains this much momentum, it can create lots of knock on effects, meaning that you don’t need to be a direct sponsor to share the love. Take Spotify for example; all it took was some island exposure for streams of the formally defunct band Blazing Squad to increase by 2500%! Brands need to be agile and always ready to make the most of their 15 minutes of fame.
2. Be reactive
Reality TV isn’t as predictable as fictional shows, so brands need to react to the show’s content as it happens. Social media totally opens up the floor so anyone is free to get in on the action, as long as they’re quick and relevant. The real winners in this whole sensation aren’t the sponsors who blow massive budgets but the opportunistic brands on the side-lines who sell knee-jerk merchandise based on trending quotes and memes. The likes of Primark, Tesco, eBay and any other company replicating Love Island merchandise are all selling stock faster than they can make it.
3. Make it easy to impulse buy
One of the only subtleties within Love Island is the product placement. The show is sponsored by Superdrug with online searches shooting up a whopping 900% for the cosmetics brand, helping it to become a real rival of Boots. Contestants are also styled by fashion brand Missguided, so viewers can admire the clothes subliminally before being seamlessly redirected to stock up on the show’s merchandise as they vote. Kelly Williams, ITV’s commercial director puts it very simply; “Whatever we put in the show sells”.
4. Get physical
Who knew that such a 1 dimensional show could create such a chain reaction? Brands have been quick to jump on merchandising and social media but few have turned the phenomenon into a physical experience. There is a real opportunity to let fans feel as though they’re getting a taste for the island life. Last year, a bridal company from Brighton started a Love Island themed hen package which earned them serious coverage online. Aside from this, there are few brands that have really physically activated the idea , to turn this trend into a full blown 360 experience.