Just over a week since the Love Island finale aired, attracting an average audience of 3.63 million, this year’s cast has been swept up in the annual whirlwind which follows leaving the villa and re-entering the real world.
Love Island presents a host of opportunities for contestants, whether they take the crown and £50,000 prize or not. A stint in the villa is a true test of character and can lead to thousands of fans, or critics. The time for grafting now sits with brands, which should be looking to generate long-term relationships with these influential contestants to build trust with hard-to-reach audiences.
Clothing outlet Missguided is an example of a brand that has succeeded in harnessing the power of the islanders. Last year, contestant Samira Mighty was brought into the fold to promote some of the brand’s products as part of a multi-channel approach, reaching audiences through various mediums and engaging those who hadn’t previously heard of the online shopping site. Alongside brand and influencer partnerships, Missguided sponsored the show and appeared in ad breaks, creating an authentic campaign which produced impressive results.
According to YouGov, Missguided succeeded in increasing its Ad Awareness Score from 13% to 20% among its target demographic (women aged 18-34) in just the first few weeks of implementation, with sales soaring by around 40% when the show aired.
However, before launching a campaign, it’s vital that brands take the time to vet influencers and understand their motives for wanting to collaborate. Consumers are more discerning than ever and will be looking to engage with relatable and authentic brand narratives from influencer content.
As such, these Love Island contestants will need to bring depth and ‘personality’ to their partnerships with brands, who will in turn be looking for social media influencers to create narratives that are relatable and real to consumers.
This year we’ll continue to see more creative input from influencers to achieve this. Following their successful summers on the island, Olivia Attwood and Dani Dyer both launched their own clothing collections with online retailer In The Style, which goes much further than just sharing discount codes.
Demonstrating both brand and influencer are invested in the relationship, it’s no surprise 70% of Dani’s debut collection sold on launch day. Co-creating products with brands allows influencers to put their own stamp on the partnership and really resonate with fans – in Dani’s case, designing and modelling her own range of clothes.
As the industry matures, brands should be careful to avoid transactional, tokenistic partnerships with the contestants and instead focus on developing longer-term engagements with influencers that involve a genuine investment in each other – and consider what consumers genuinely want, whether that’s practical how-to content, unique co-developed products or exclusive content. Like Missguided, it’s likely brands will also begin to integrate their influencer marketing activity into their wider advertising campaigns, serving followers across various touchpoints and delivering the best ROI.
There is a lot to be gained from long-term relationships between brands and Love Island contestants, providing both parties are on the same page in terms of transparency, authenticity and putting their audience first.
Adam Williams is CEO of influencer marketing agency Takumi. Rad his recent piece on the potential of IGTV for brands.