What your brand can learn from Love Island Partnerships


Chris Wilson, Head of Brand Partnerships at Ingenuity, shares what brands can learn from Love Island Partnerships

The UK’s largest TV show is coming to a conclusion tonight and is expected to attract a record number of viewers. The Love Island spectacle is the latest and most watched reality show since Big Brother. So, why is it so important for brands to understand the opportunities, risks and potential to partner with shows of this ilk?

Love Island provides brands unprecedented access to the millennial market, with ITV offering a complete multi-media proposition to help brands reach, engage and convert young audiences.

Every year, we discuss how the following of the show grows younger and more naïve, particularly when it comes to how they’re being marketed to.

Over the last four years, we have seen a multitude of brands being involved across sponsorship, OHH advertising, product placement and now ecommerce partnerships which help brands amplify their products and services to eager Love Island viewers.

What are the benefits to partnering with a phenomenon such as Love Island?

The benefits of an ITV sponsorship are clear. It provides guaranteed access to an audience who are as engaged as football supporters when they’re watching Match of the Day. While MOTD is on once a week, Love Island captures an audience for more than six hours a week.

There are also options to target millennial audiences through social channels, by promoting your products and services in a tactile way that gets results.

The best partnerships are as subtle as the VO5 product placement deal which sees the show’s contestants spend a large proportion of their time ‘getting ready’ or ‘doing their hair’, using Unilever brands’ products.

Partners of the show can expect to see a spike in product sales, engagement and traffic on their sites as a result of partnering. Ad breaks provide an easy opportunity to catch the eyes of  the consumer, allowing brands to target viewers while they eagerly await for the next part of the show.

Take last year’s partner, Superdrug, whose aim was ‘to cement themselves as the go to destination for 16-34s, whilst increasing awareness of their own brand offering.’ As a result of working with ITV, visits to the Superdrug website rose by 200k after each episode, alongside a whopping 900% increase in Superdrug brand search terms.

A new approach this year

Interestingly, this year’s deal with I Saw It First offers a new approach to the previous retail partnership with Missguided.

It provides consumers the opportunity to follow their favourite contestant and buy their outfits online, allowing a unique customer journey. The show has a vision of how they want the contestants to dress, which shapes how the retail partner can promote certain ranges during different parts of the show.

It’s a similar case with UberEats, the title sponsor of this year’s show. By paying £5m for access, ITV has given them the best seat in the house to target the hard-to-reach millennial audience of circa 5 million. They’re giving away discount on food delivery and Love Island products to the audience, in return for data capture and a spike in orders, not to mention the brand association opportunities for hitting their key clients in the space where they most want to be spoken to.

Fully integrated deals like these will become the norm, as different brands seek to engage audiences that follow particular shows. It’s now more than important than ever to think about how to ready your brand for further integration.

The Risks

As with any show like this, there are multiple risks for the partner. Brands cannot control what happens on the show and what the general public think, which may come to affect your brand reputation.

There are huge concerns around mental health support and how the show can manipulate young audiences into thinking in a certain way. The dangers of being associated with these difficult messages means brands need to have a watertight PR function that’s ready for anything.

There may be other, more secure opportunities that could provide similar results, with pre-recorded shows being prime example.

Building a strategy to engage new audiences

Having a partnership strategy in place in today’s market is a must; it has become the new bar for brands that want to build equity that lasts. With budgets on the decrease and targets on the up, partnerships offer brands a fantastic opportunity to be able to build a unique platform to engage audiences and utilise other brands assets as their own.

In an era where TV is not the only way to drive sales, a sustainable partnership prevents any brand from being a “one trick pony” and adds a layer to any marketing plan that drives even more deliberate and dedicated customer engagement.

Ingenuity London

Outside of Love Island, there are many partnership models that work, including brand licensing, sponsorship, on-pack promotions, loyalty incentives and merchandising. If you work for a brand and are looking for ways to develop partnerships, Ingenuity will consult on who in the industry you can partner with, how best to structure a deal and crucially how to get in front of these brands. To find out more, check out our website.

Our cross-category experience lies in building partnerships, strategy and growth for brands such as Merlin Entertainments, Nickelodeon, Cannes Lions, Tough Mudder, Lastminute.com, The Times, Virgin Red and The Beano.

If you’re interested in engaging new audiences or developing a new way to market your brand via partnerships, get in touch with Chris Wilson at Chris.Wilson@ingenuitylondon.com