Love Island: Marketing magic, toxic trap?


I’m sure like rest of the UK you’ve been watching Love Island over the last eight weeks, right?

If not then you’ve done well to avoid getting sucked into ITV’s most viewed programme of the year.

It is addictive. I’ll be the first to make my opinion heard in a Love Island debate – Doctor Alex isn’t as into this Alex squared thing he’s got going with Alexandra as she is. Controversial, I know!

But is Love Island a toxic trap? With the eyes of a massive, mostly young market focused squarely in its direction, it’s a star attraction for big brands and ambitious marketers.

At what cost does this come?

With the ten sponsorship deals they’ve had this year there was bound to be a rise in the product placement of the show.

Missguided for one have very cleverly thought out their marketing strategy by providing the both male and female contestants with clothing from their brand, as well as having links to what the contestants are wearing on the Love Island app.

As well as this, Samsung, the providers of the tech used by contestants on the show, are using their sponsorship as a tool to promote their brand by placing photographs the islanders have taken in the villa on their social media channels.

Clever, huh? Of course you want to scroll through backstage pics to see if you can squeeze any extra gossip from them! And if you just so happen to see adverts for the new Galaxy while you’re doing so…

Have any of these brands stopped to think about the affect this product placement has on younger watchers? Do they care?

Impressionable teenagers are bombarded with influences to look and act in a certain way as it is. But Love Island could be taking that to new extremes.

Whether they mean to or not, they give an impression of what the idealmale or female should be, look or act like.

Not only with the clothes and products they should buy from the ten brands paying for air time, but also in what they should look like – most of the boys have lean rigs with killer tans and the skinny mini-girls, of which half have had work done with fake tans and perfectly styled hair.

The pressure this puts on the youth of today to conform to this look can have detrimental effects on their mental health. People can be healthy without being a size 4!

Society at large is becoming aware of these pressures, and of the struggles many young people face growing up in the 21stCentury. These conversations are being had.

But while adults try to come to consensus on a solution, these influences are building, and being transmitted in ever more direct fashion.

So while Love Island may be a marketer’s dream, we ask the question again. At what cost does this come?

We want to know what you think. Is Love Island fair game for marketers, or should we be more conscious of the affect it can have? Get in touch at hello@orfimedia.com.

Elise Milburn

Social Media Intern at Orfi Media. Content creator day in day out!