The World Cup hasn’t been the only TV event to set the nation’s hearts racing this Summer. Love (Island) it or hate it, the show is undoubtedly one of the biggest television events of the season. With a peak viewership of 3.4 million people, and a 42% share of 16-34 year olds, the award winning show is a huge opportunity for brands to woo an increasingly elusive audience. From big budget integrated sponsorships to tactical brand alignment, advertisers are grasping the opportunity to become part of the national conversation. However, they may have to tread carefully to avoid controversy.

Superdrug is now in their third consecutive year of sponsorship, and it’s proving to be highly successful for the high street drugstore. Their revenue has increased by 2.3% to £1.2bn, and they’ve even bucked market trends by launching 22 new stores over the past year. Furthermore, they have pushed their share of market up to 32% in the competitive cosmetics market (Retail Gazette, 2018). This success wouldn’t have been achieved with a simple badging exercise – true brand integration is key. Superdrug has gone beyond simple TV idents, by bringing a Love Island-branded beauty collection to stores, in partnership with Rimmel, featured throughout the episodes.

Another brand who have taken product placement opportunities to new levels is Missguided. Along with providing free clothes to style the contestants for key events, the brand is also featured on the Love Island app. It includes an option to shop with them directly, smoothing the path to purchase and encouraging direct sales, which in turn has seen a 40% sales increase when the show is on TV (Marketing Week, 2018).

However, it wasn’t only official sponsors who have chosen to align themselves with the show. Inthestyle joined the drama by creating the promotional code ‘WEHATEJOSH10’ following a contestant’s debateable actions. Whilst the tweet generated more than 3,400 retweets, it also sparked controversy as the code has resulted in the advertiser being accused of cyberbullying the contestant. Therefore, whilst being reactive can ensure brands are aligned with the national conversation, it must be done with care and caution.

All in all, business success can be seen when advertisers partner closely with the show, using multiple touchpoints to feel truly integrated with the culture of the programme. A fun, reactive social content strategy is key to this, but with divided opinions on contestants, be prepared for backlash if you take sides in the increasingly controversial storylines.