Will Love Island bring success to the brands sponsoring the show?

Love Island 2022 is almost upon us – the latest series of the sun-soaked guilty pleasure starts on Monday 6 June –  and a plethora of brands have already come forward to announce their sponsorship of the latest series.

The hugely popular dating reality show has proven to be quite a profitable marketing opportunity for brands in the past, with personalised Love Island water bottles flying off the shelves in recent years.

In the last month, eBay, WKD and Emmi Caffé have revealed they are partnering with the brand to sponsor the eighth series, with Love Islanders expected to showcase the products throughout the show.

But will the show bring the brands success in light of recent news that distrust of social media influencers is at all an all-time high?

Will consumers – currently feeling the financial squeeze of the cost of living crisis – be enticed by the products being promoted by the 2022 contestants?

Unified customer experience platform Emplifi has found that 60% of some 2,500 people surveyed had little-to-no trust in influencers with large-scale audiences.

While the research showed that UK brands spent 101% more than the global average on social media ads in the first quarter of 2022, a further 40% of those surveyed admitted to “never” trusting products promoted to them by influencers.

So how will the brands fair in the upcoming series of Love Island if this is the general consensus of the nation?

Worryingly, the Emplifi research also revealed that over half of the nation do not believe ‘mega-influencers’ are able to relate to the day-to-day struggles of the average person. Close to 60% believe the contestants featuring in the upcoming series of Love Island will be neither trustworthy nor authentic.

“Amid the current cost of living crisis, it’s more important than ever for brands to lead with empathy,” Emplifi CMO Zarnaz Arlia said.

“Brands whose influencer messaging is centred on authenticity will provide more relatable experiences that better connect with consumers, particularly Generation Z who regard their spending choices as a reflection of their individual identity.”

“In today’s climate, brands should invest time in identifying influencers that align best with their core values. This will ultimately remove short-term risk from marketing campaigns, ensuring they do not feel contrived and inauthentic, while building long-lasting brand loyalty.”

LOVE ISLAND

READ MORE: Analysis: How should marketers adapt to changing consumer behaviour?

eBay’s pre-loved  island clothes

The show’s first pre-loved fashion partnership with eBay will highlight sustainability as we see contestants wearing second-hand clothes for the very first time.

The integrated, multi-channel partnership will give eBay a significant presence across the ITV website and Love Island’s hugely popular social media channels. The show’s Instagram account alone boasts 3.3 million followers.

The e-commerce giant, which claims to have sold a previously-owned fashion product every second so far this year, says the increasingly eco-conscious UK market is buying more second hand clothes than two years ago, with a fifth of UK consumers saying 15% of their wardrobe is made up of second-hand items.

With the shift from a fast fashion partnership to a more sustainable clothing collaboration, it will be interesting to see how eBay fairs from the promotion and if it will have a significant impact on the marketplace.

Marketing coach and trainer Danny Denhard believes an eBay and Love Island partnership could be a smart move as it would “subtly inspire sustainable shopping”. However, he also questions whether consumers might see through the collaboration.

“Bad messaging and promotion could backfire as promoting unsustainable brands could create potential green-washing. Notably, if forced brand movements are distastefully executed or associated with a particularly unpopular reality star, eBay may suffer.”

READ MORE: Pre-Loved Island: Ebay partners with hit ITV show Love Island to bring second hand clothes into the mainstream

Hooking up with WKD 

Alcoholic drinks brand WKD is returning as official partner of the show for the second year in a row.

As a result of the returning partnership, broadcast media, co-branded promotional packs, significant in-store activity and a social, digital and influencer campaigns will be launched. WKD-themed video content will feature the Islanders, while a promotion in pubs and bars will be also be created as an additional strand of the campaign.

While Denhard highlights that public distrust builds when products “do not associate well with their viewers”, WKD clearly has already established an affinity with Love Island fans.

“A lot of the show’s advertising power comes from its editing,” he added.

“In general, brands need to be wary that forced product promotion on TV can create an air of scepticism and suspicion.”

However, WKD’s head of brand Alison Gray says the brand will continue to fly high in spite of public doubt, as the show is “a TV phenomenon with huge reach”  which fans “can’t get enough” of.

“In a fragmented media landscape, the continued success of Love Island highlights just how much our target consumers still relish a shared media experience.”

WKD X Love Island

READ MORE: Love Island hooks up with WKD for the second year

Fancy a Emmi Caffé Latte?

Brokered by Emmi’s media agency Electric Glue, the Emmi Caffé Latte brand was appointed as Love Island’s coffee sponsor last Autumn following a competitive pitch, marking the brand’s first major marketing initiative in the UK.

Produced by ITV Creative, the “Made With Love” campaign will appear on TV and VOD and feature in show’s app, website and social media platforms.

The move seems to be a fitting one for the coffee brand with Electric Glue CEO Pippa Glucklich calling it the “perfect match”.

“Drinking iced coffee is now an integral (and celebrated) part of the show and in our consumers’ lives, so it’s the ideal place for Caffé Latte.”

Emmi Caffé Latte X Love Island

READ MORE: Emmi Caffé Latte becomes Love Island’s official iced coffee sponsor


While agreeing that Love Island is likely to drive sales and raise awareness for smaller lesser-known brands, Denhard also warns that brand involvement with the show can often act as “a double-edged sword” due to the volatile and unpredictable nature of live TV and the contestants.

“With the islanders’ behaviour largely unpredictable, reality TV can be as challenging for the brands as it is for the contestants,” he says.

Regardless of what happens and how the contestants behave once the show starts, if the public feel an affinity with the islanders, TV ratings will undoubtedly soar and products featuring in the show will be exposed to millions of viewers. It’s a marketing move which is clearly worth the risk.

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