Social or Sofa?
Love Island is the British sensation that’s taken over millions of screens at 9pm, 6 days a week, for the last 8 weeks. With a record number of viewers and social engagements this season, Love Island’s marketing team is clearly doing something right, but what?
Traditionally, brands have seen TV and Social Media as platforms to choose between. But increasingly, the two are being used to complement each other to generate massive brand affinity. Love Island is doing this to great effect.

Rule 1. Know your audience:
The key to a successful marketing strategy is knowing your audience. Love Island has correctly identified its main audience as socially active 16-34-year-olds who crave to be a part of the Love Island hype through sharing their opinions online.
Love Island’s marketing manipulates the conversation magnificently. It’s the talk of the REDTORCH office – if you don’t watch it expect to be neglected from a half an hour of conversation every morning. As well as flooding social media with storylines and gossip, Love Island releases exclusive content through its smartphone app, encouraging competition between fans to find out the latest news and be the voice of authority in those all-important post-show conversations.

Rule 2. Find your platform:
Last season, Snapchat was a major part of Love Island’s strategy. The platform was used to show previews of the next episode to keep viewers engaged. However, since Snapchat’s redesign, it’s become apparent this platform doesn’t hold the influence it once had.
ITV saw a drop in the number of Snapchat users after the apps redesign in November and consequently, they have turned to Twitter as their main platform for previews and starting conversations. Instagram is Love Island’s second platform of choice, as its focus on visual content complements Love Island’s strategy of engaging a young, visual-hungry audience. With a total of 2 million followers, Love Island is now the most-followed UK TV show on Instagram.

Rule 3. Cater to your advertisers:
Even if you don’t watch Love Island, you’ll likely be aware of the numerous brands sponsoring the hit show. Love Island has a record number of 11 commercial partners all coming from a wide range of industries. From the likes of Missguided, Ministry of Sound and Samsung, Love Island has seamlessly integrated these brands into the show.
For example, Viewers can buy personalised Love Island water bottles, just like the Islanders – of which ITV has sold over 190k this series, as well as 7k phone cases and 5k wash bags. This is a prime example of how TV channels have the potential to create a platform that allows their brands to get involved. Additionally, Love Island shows how technology has a place within traditional TV through the promotion of Samsung phone which feature in every episode with the Islanders shouting, ‘I’ve got a text!’ as well as their selfies and photos being taken on the phone and then uploaded to Instagram.

What can sport learn from Love Island?
The overall theme and learning we can take from Love Island is data doesn’t lie.
Fundamentally, Love Island’s success comes from choosing the right social media platform, the right sponsors and the right content. These decisions are all based on research and data insights.
Firstly, sports need to define their audience. Market research will tell you who your audience is and what content they will like. Simply – data will tell you how best to engage with your fans.
Secondly, data will give you insights into what’s working and what’s not. Love Island identified that Snapchat was no longer the right platform to help achieve their strategic objectives. By integrating data into your strategy, you can make important decisions with confidence.
Finally, data will allow you to identify the brands your audience have an affinity with, providing opportunities to pursue sponsorship deals and allow your current partners to promote their brand in areas not previously thought of.
Yes, Love Island may not be the most thought-provoking TV, but we must give credit where credit’s due. Love Island’s marketing team have achieved record ratings and record engagement. That’s something to be noted and admired.
(Congratulations to Jack and Dani, we love you!)