For the love of Love Island: the opportunity for online retailers


Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you’ve probably also been glued to ITV2’s Love Island. We cry when they cry, cute moments make our hearts squeeze and the DRAMA is what we’re living for.

Love Island viewer stats:

  • 3.4 million people tuned in to the premier this year
  • …thats more than double the viewership of last year (1.3 million)
  • Broke the record for highest rated show at 9pm across all channels
  • ITV2’s most watched show since records began
  • 52% of viewers 16-34 year olds

With this in mind, the ads have really upped their game as brands and retailers (and even banks!) try to reach these viewers, most importantly the younger demographic, in the ad breaks each night.

There are also sponsorship opportunities, snapped up by Missguided, Lucozade Zero and Superdrug, among others. Are these sponsorships worth it though? Are brands able to get enough traction online from ads alone?

We’re gonna take a look at who’s winning in search.

Some are hoping to find love, some are hoping to be found online.

Using our share of voice feature, focusing on terms surrounding brands that are advertising during Love Island and using Love Island as a marketing platform, we can see who’s doing best online.

Charts from Pi Market Intelligence

Example of search terms: lucozade zero love island, ministry of sound love island, missguided love island, primark love island.

Superdrug, although not a brand, stocks many of the products the brands are advertising and so is stealing a large portion of the online market, not to mention their sponsorship of the show.

Surprisingly, OK magazine’s site ranks 3rd, in fact 6 publishers rank in the top 10 – should brands be looking to advertise with these sites? These sites offer gossip from the show but are also covering the fashion, so products are seeing coverage online this way.

Essential products

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Charts from Pi Market Intelligence

Example of search terms: love island clothes, love island dresses, love island fashion, love island bottles.

Looking at search terms for the various (essential) products of Love Island we can see that the official Love Island shop is dominating – most likely due to the v popular water bottles.

Yet again, we see 3 publishers in the top 5 sites as they provide content covering these product.

Fashion UK | Leaderboard

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Missguided’s edge

Missguided (a sponsor of the show) only ranks 6th with 3.35% share of voice where we might expect them to be doing better in search. However, because the Islanders are actually wearing Missguided clothing, the official Love Island app allows you to bypass search completely with ‘buy now’ buttons for each episodes outfits. In this way Missguided has an edge over the search landscape, possibly letting search fall by the wayside as a result.


According to Marketing Week, they’ve reported a 40% increase in sales during the time of sponsorship each evening the show airs. With a completely streamlined campaign, they cover several forms of digital marketing. Their social, website/blog and ‘island style’ partnership with the love island app make the users experience of shopping Love Island effortless.

Islanders in demand

The contestants popularity in search fluctuates with each new drama that arises, so it’s hard for brands to pinpoint exactly who they should be creating content around.

As an example, on 8th July when the gals had a *small* falling out, search trends looked like this:

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But this is subject to change each evening, search will never look exactly as it did at this time.

It is therefore important for retailers and brands to keep up to date on all the goss so as to capitalise on those currently in the spotlight….as long as it’s a positive spotlight. Meaning you get to watch Love Island, you lucky thing.



Though it may seem as if publishers are reaping the rewards of Love Island more than brands or retailers that are advertising, taking a closer look at the content provided by publishers shows that these sites are likely to be recommending brands and products.

The sponsorship of the programme seems to be paying dividends for Missguided and Superdrug, though Missguided have used a alternative route for their campaign than traditional search optimisation.

All in all, Love Island provides a unique opportunity to reach a demographic that has, in recent years, rejected live TV in favour of online streaming services.


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