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Marketing takeaways from Love Island (yes I watched it, and yes it's valid and useful!)

A lot of people are surprised that I watched Love Island. I was shown the show by my friend and client Matthew, and after one episode (somewhere in the middle of the series) I decided to “graft” and went onto ITV Hub to do some serious catchup. It took many hours, but I caught up on 23 episodes in one week, and then switched to “maintenance mode” keeping up with one episode a day. If I decide to do something I stick to it.
With my trained marketing mind, I of course started to draw parallels between the show and marketing.
Love Island was a runaway success this year. It was popular for many reasons – the psychology, the genuinely nice people (not vacant empty headed people like those who judge may assume). The popularity of the show may have been because people like to have an escape from all the bad news out there nowadays.
The contestants on Love Island are all young, single and very easy on the eye. And we all understand it took a lot of work for them to look like that, and there was a lot of time and work to design the villa and make everything look so great on TV.

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on Jul 10, 2017 at 1:33pm PDT

The show was also enhanced by extra memory hooks which only went to make it more popular. Love Island slang like “my type on paper” and “muggy” and “stick it on him” has started to part of our half joking vocabulary in our office in a regular basis. We’ve even ordered the branded water bottles!
It is in fact possible for businesses to learn from Love Island, and for my many hours of watching the show to be turned into something positive and useful! So, herewith:

5 easy steps for improving business marketing – inspired by Love Island

Proper setup

Start with a good basic raw materials. A beautiful, easy to understand, easy to navigate website. With personality. Just like the Love Island contestants were chosen from a vast selection, and all of them look undeniably great from all the different camera angles and had some quirky personality trait to offer. Those of you who judge them – you didn’t give the show even half a chance.

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on Jul 10, 2017 at 1:25pm PDT


The islanders wake up and make themselves look pretty and put on bikinis (or swim shorts for the boys!) to ensure they show their best colours and assets. Unfortunately, people don’t do enough upkeep on their websites. They don’t put enough thought into social media profiles. Upkeep doesn’t have to be daily and is certainly easier if you have the raw materials, but there are always improvements you can make to look great and get noticed. And the time required is minimal compared to what the islanders do!

Create drama

The show’s producers added drama as triggers in the form of additional people being sent in, tasks, challenges and all sorts of stuff we can only speculate about. The islanders took the cue and inadvertently added in spontaneous reactions and personality. This is the approach you can take with your digital marketing. Mix up planned content and output and allow spontaneous personality to shine through.


The show took the biggest news, cutest pictures and funny video clips and put them on Instagram. They shared on Twitter but using the language of Twitter. They didn’t bother with LinkedIn because they knew it wasn’t right. They encouraged and allowed for conversation in all channels. Businesses can learn from this and share bits that you know are the most interesting in your day to day life. You get better at spotting these and you learn to tell a story.

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on Jun 29, 2017 at 1:23pm PDT

Edit the best bits

The mundane day to day bits aren’t all there on Love Island. 45 minutes including slow motion running and ad breaks means it’s a snippet of time. Enhancements were made to show snippets and scenes that became part of the brand: the typeface used for the writing of words around the villa, the slow motion when people ran to participate in the tasks, the editing of camera chat with task highlights, etc. When certain words were used a lot it in the show the narrator make a point of mentioning them – “My type on paper,” “Muggy,” and “Grafting”.

A post shared by Love Island (@loveisland) on Jul 7, 2017 at 1:09pm PDT

So that’s it in a nutshell. Other questions? Comment below!

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