Love: An Island In The Stream
The latest kid on the block in ITV’s most exclusive neighbourhood is the behemoth that is Love Island. It’s fair to say that the initial success of last year’s show blew everyone’s socks off, most notably, ITV’s. The phrase ‘grinning like a Cheshire cat’ would aptly describe the facial expressions of the top tier of executives. The tidal surge in viewing that this series unleashed was astonishing; no sooner could you say ‘Sun, sea and Sambuca’ and the nation was gripped.
Intriguingly, this also allowed advertisers to better understand the behavioural nuances of these highly engaged TV audiences. Interests, behaviours and device trends linked to one of the most hyped moments of the summer. Series sponsor Superdrug profoundly reaped the benefits with a 900% increase in consumers actively searching for the brand online. This halo effect was also felt by Boots and significantly also with Ray Bans, Clinique and GHO. 70% of viewers used a mobile device whilst watching TV, rising to 87% among 16-34 year olds, again indicative of the millennial trend.
Ministry of Sound also cruised deftly to success by employing product placement within the show to maximise exposure for their new summer album (at the time) ‘Marbella Collection 2017’. Released during the series’ run, the album shot straight to the no. 1 in the dance and overall charts.
With the new series having kicked off on Monday (June 4th), it appears the show’s appeal remains undimmed. The launch show gave ITV2 its biggest ever audience, breaking last year’s finale and doubling the size of last year’s launch show. Across all stations the premiere was the highest-rating programme at 9pm, across all channels. The show had a 16.4% audience share and peaked at 3.4 million viewers (this will no doubt increase when catch-up services are included). Perhaps predictably, 52% of its audience were 16-34 year-olds with 1.5m viewers and a 48.4% share. Incredibly too, 12,000 water-bottles have been sold via the ITV app since the weekend (8,000 during Monday’s inaugural show).
Amusingly, BBC Reality Check claimed that more people had applied for Love Island this year than to Oxford and Cambridge universities combined, supplying the coup de grâce “This might not sound entirely surprising – Oxford and Cambridge are famously elite universities with heavy workloads while Love Island is a villa in sunny Spain with the chance of winning £50,000.”
As a middle-aged father of two, it would suffice to say that I won’t be tuning in personally, but good luck to those who do. Anything that serves to unite swathes of the population in these fractious times is arguably a positive.
Head of Broadcast