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Could Your Marketing Learn from Love Island…?

Thu 3rd Aug 2017
By Todd

Let’s face it: what you do is unlikely to be niche. In an increasingly noisy world where everyone has access to the same content and tools, we’re small fish in a big pond of other fish with a smartphone.

You’re not doing something that different.

What is different though is you. You’re the reason people buy. You know this, right?

You’ve read it and heard it before.

The reason that’s true and the reason it works is that ultimately we buy through our emotions.

We don’t need stuff – we want it. 

Ever talked yourself into something by adding some logic to it? That’s the want part of you convincing the logical part of you (that makes the ultimate decision) that’s it OK to buy it or say “Yes” to it.

When it comes to marketing, you need to work with this emotional buying decision. You must understand how people feel and then understand how the people you can help feel when they need your help. And then appeal to that pain.

Could Your Marketing Learn from Love Island…?

Could Your Marketing Learn from Love Island…?

So how on earth does the hit TV show Love Island fit in?

Love Island isn’t a new concept. If you’ve not seen or heard about it, it’s basically a load of people locked into a location and filmed 24 hours a day.

They’re set tasks and are then eliminated as the show goes on based on a public vote from the viewers watching on TV.

Sounds like Big Brother to me.

It features rather attractive young people who are quite happy prancing around in swimwear and also very happy to get intimate on the show and then kiss and tell.

Sounds like Geordie Shore to me.

(or maybe Geordie Shore mixed with Ex on the Beach, which is true trash TV but popular too.)

It’s not new and it’s certainly not one of a kind on TV right now.

So why did it get so much noise?

I haven’t heard people at my networking meetings talking about Big Brother or Ex on the Beach, but they’ve admitted watching Love Island, a show that also trended on Twitter constantly.

Why has it had such a big impact?

I believe it’s because it appeals to our emotions. Our emotions of love but also our emotions of how we’d like to look and how we’d feel on an amazing island in an incredible villa doing what (let’s face it) we’re all here to do – find a mate and procreate.

(Stick with me because this is an odd concept to get your head around.)



I know not everyone wants big tits and fake blonde hair (but lots do)

I know not everyone aspires to have a washboard stomach and perfect tan (but the media message is telling us that we do).

I know that a villa in the sunshine isn’t what everyone wants… but most do, right? It’s the standard ideal holiday for most Brits, and the show’s contestants are all from the UK.

With all this it’s already hitting many of the heartstrings, no matter what you might think about modern society. But I also feel that they nailed one important thing.


The competition is pretty ugly

Not in looks, but in content. The arguments and fallouts might make compelling viewing for Big Brother and the others, but it’s not very positive.

Yes, we’re driven to negative content, but we’re also very much geared towards positive content.

Love Island is about dating. It’s about meeting your perfect match. It’s about sex and relationships, but it’s more than what the other shows have.

Love Island ‘seems’ to be a show where the contestants are actually not total arseholes. OK, some of them weren’t as popular as others, but the main theme is actually young people who seem genuinely besotted with each other. They just happen to be very athletic, scantily clad and on a luxury location, eh!?


You get to escape with them

You enjoy some interesting viewing.

You follow the love story and, yes, you get to see some decent-looking bodies.

It’s playing on your wants, needs and emotions, and it’s giving your eyes (and other parts of your body) something you crave. Clever.

It’s almost the perfect recipe for a Facebook Ad:

  • an attractive face in the ad
  • an emotive message
  • a place most aspire to go to
  • a call to action that gives you want you want.

It’s classic.


I didn’t watch much of the show…

I don’t know the names of the winners. I’m not naive enough to believe that any of them will stay together, but good luck to them anyway.

I just see a real win for the show producers for creating what is, on the face of it, another reality TV show.

They have all the elements that the others have with just one exception – they used love!

The positive emotion in the title and the theme of the show I believe helped them to their success.

Aside from the clever Instagram marketing and all the other PR surrounding the show, they gave us what we (the viewers) wanted.


Think about that in your marketing. What do your audience ‘want’? I mean really want?

How do they ‘feel’ when they work with you or buy your product? What is it about you that makes them FEEL different to the others?

Your business or offering is unlikely to be unique. Even Apple aren’t unique. Virgin isn’t unique. Nike and Adidas are doing the same stuff.

Ultimately a human decides whether to buy from you or not, and they use their emotional decisions to sway their logical minds.

Love is a powerful emotion.

There are, of course, other emotions that you can and should use in your marketing.

How can you use them? That’s the question.


Let me know in the comments what you think and whether you fell into the trap (as I did) of watching Love Island.


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5 comments on this article

  • Geraldine at 16:32pm on August 3rd 2017

    Great idea to write a post piggybacking on a recent popular TV series (I recall doing the same a couple of years ago when I compared freelance copywriters to contestants on I’m A Celeb!). Capitalise on those hashtags…

    And no, seeing as you asked, I didn’t watch even a second of Love Island. Nothing against reality shows – I watch a fair few of them, mostly involving cooking, dancing or jungle antics – but this one simply didn’t appeal. Perhaps I’m just not its target audience?

    1. Todd at 11:31am on August 9th 2017

      I don’t think I’m the target audience either… but I couldn’t ignore the noise online!

  • Ros at 18:12pm on August 14th 2017

    An interesting analogy, but I have no shame as I’m happy to admit I was hooked on Love Island! I’m an idealist though.. and similarly like to think there are perfect matches out there – also a big fan of First Dates and Dinner Date! Some elements that kept me hooked were the raw honesty and insecurity – even one of the less ‘augmented’ female contestants commented that most guys that came in preferred boobs, extensions and pouts! It was so refreshing that her ‘The Blazin’ Squad’ (no less) boyfriend reassured her of his strong feelings for her, ‘just as she was’ #BridgetJonesflashback. The whole ‘temptation’ period with the second Villa ‘Amore’ filled with new gorgeous suitors was perfectly timed! If you had only just found your perfect brand but then, faced with 5 or 6 well positioned, targeted products were put on your doorstep, how loyal would/should you be?! Having good ‘bants’ was often referred to… you could compare with good engagement? Also ‘mugging off’… I honestly had no idea at first what this meant, but I think it means being humiliated? I guess this is where the real challenge lies… keeping brand promises and not ‘mugging off’ the client.

    1. Todd at 10:58am on August 16th 2017

      Haha… I love this, Ros.

      I think you should write a whole new blog in response to this one!

      1. Ros at 18:01pm on August 16th 2017

        I’d be happy to! I’m not sure how this ‘guilty pleasure’ admission would affect my current search for the perfect comms job… haha! Maybe I could weave that in somehow! 😉

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