Love Island fever to bring big bucks for brands

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Advertisers should keep an eye on the TV screen from next week, as Monday’s Love Island premiere marks the beginning of a potentially lucrative summer for brands. That’s according to new insights released today by eBay Advertising, which reveal how the programme inspires consumers to shop for seen-on-TV products, looks and lifestyles – both in real-time and throughout the series.

During the first episode of last year’s series, searches for “yellow playsuit” on eBay UK shot up by 276%, compared to just two hours before, after host Caroline Flack sported a remarkably bright one in the opening scenes. In fact, the Clothes, Shoes and Accessories category as a whole experienced a big surge of interest in line with the show, with searches in the category increasing by over a quarter during the same timeframe. This highlights the opportunity for brands to capitalise on “second screening” – watching the show on TV while simultaneously browsing and shopping online.

But viewers can’t always shop while they watch, especially when there’s high drama on screen – and eBay’s data suggests that some viewers wait until an episode has finished to browse the items they’ve just seen. Searches for “pink denim jacket” and “pink denim shorts” peaked in the hour after the show on 23rd July 2018, just after Love Island’s sweetheart Dani Dyer wore her pink double denim combo during the fraught lie detector test – demonstrating that there is spend to be won even after the credits roll.

With viewers inspired by all aspects of the stars’ styles, there are also ample opportunities for beauty brands to engage with viewers. eBay saw searches for “fake tan” almost double – surging by 91% – during 2018’s premiere, compared to the hour before, as consumers envied the Islanders’ instant Majorcan summer glow. Meanwhile, viewers were clearly dazzled by Love Island winner Jack Fincham’s pearly whites, with searches for “teeth whitening” leaping by 68% during that same episode. Indeed, the entire Health and Beauty category experienced an 18% uplift in searches on during the first episode, compared to a couple of hours before.

“Popular TV programmes such as Love Island can wield huge influence over shopping habits. These insights reveal the scale and scope of opportunities for brands – and not only those in the fashion, beauty and fitness categories – to pinpoint audiences likely to be interested in their products and target them with the right messages when they’re most inspired. Armed with rich insights into consumer behaviour and contextual data to find audiences in the shopping mindset, brands have the potential to achieve impressive results and boost their bottom line.”
– Mike Klinkhammer, Director of Advertising Sales EU, eBay

“Brands have a really exciting opportunity to engage with avid viewers who are inspired by the Love Island stars, setting and lifestyle, and it’s not just on-screen sponsors that can get a slice of the prize. Brands can engage with the same audiences online at a fraction of the cost. If marketers are savvy and have their finger on the pulse of the Love Island nation, they can capitalise on the second-screening phenomenon and deliver relevant advertising to viewers online in real-time as the drama unfolds. But, to really make it work, brands need to understand how their audiences behave and to work with partners that have relevant content, context, and targeting opportunities.”
– Pauline Robson, Managing Partner, MediaCom

Love Island’s influence doesn’t stop at fashion and beauty. Inspired by apparently effortless six packs and occasional shots of gym workouts at the villa, eBay’s insights reveal that many shoppers are motivated to bulk up their own fitness regimes. Searches for “pull-up bar” doubled – up 100% – during the first week of last year’s show, compared to a week before, and searches for “dumbbell” and “yoga mat” increased by 8% and 19% respectively during the final episode, compared to the previous hour.

And, inevitably, the blissful Majorcan setting also leaves many viewers dreaming of sunnier shores. The shift in mindset was apparent from the very first episode last year, when searches for “beach towel”, “sun lounger” and “sunglasses” grew 80%, 50% and 20% in turn, compared to a couple of hours before. In fact, during that hour, shoppers searched for “sunglasses” three times every second.


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