‘Coupling up’ with Love Island – a stroke of PR genius?

Love Island – the nation-dividing TV phenomenon that we all love to hate – has finished once more (to the delight of half of Britain). But, whichever side you’re on, the show’s sheer popularity is undeniable.

For the fifth year running, the summertime series has dominated our screens every night for two months, and it shows no signs of stopping. Monday’s finale attracted a record 4 million viewers, making it the show’s most watched final ever, and ITV has now announced that it will be back for not one, but two seasons in 2020.

So, surely partnering with the ever-growing show is a shoo-in for success? It certainly offers individual contestants an amazing platform, seeing many leave the villa with over one million Instagram followers gained and an opportunity to build a career and personal brand.

For brands though, ‘coupling up’ with the show is an expensive move. Main sponsor Uber Eats forked out the most this year, paying a hefty £5 million for its headline slot. Yet with only a 20-second advert sandwiching each segment of the show to set it above the other brands, it’s hard to see the benefits of footing the largest bill.

The advantages are clearer for others such as fashion sponsor I Saw It First, who have gained unmatchable brand coverage and visibility by having their products worn constantly by the model islanders and watched for 60 minutes per day by the show’s 58% female audience. (That’s 2940 minutes or 49 hours of TV coverage, BTW).

Still, it seems that the best way for PR teams to reap the rewards of their brand’s collab is through social media – which is no surprise given that over half the programme’s viewers are aged 16-34. Through Love-Island-themed hashtags and memes, engagement levels seem to have skyrocketed for brands like Samsung, boosting its reputation in the eyes of social-media-savvy Generation Z.

So, while its unlikely The Right Agency’s clients will be putting their eggs in Love Island’s basket, it’s clear why some brands would lay it on factor 50 thick to form a deep connection with Love Island’s brand partnership team…

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