By Megan Rothery

It’s that season again. The most suspense filled game of the year has been dominating our lives and television screens. No not Wimbledon. We are of course talking about Love Island.

In last year’s blog we put our manic fandom down to simply needing a little old-fashioned escapism from the current political upheaval, and to say such is still the case may be an understatement. We are yet again more than willing to be completely consumed by pretty people ‘cracking on’. Prime real estate in our brains, and in the media, is reserved for ITV’s two month long routine of flirt, fight, make up, repeat.

If you are also desperate to intellectually justify your viewing experience and put meaning behind your unhealthy obsession, then you may be willing to hear some more thoughts on what Love Island tells us about an effective communications strategy…

Be prepared to prove it

This can be make or break for your brand, or for your relationship with your ‘half-boyfriend’ – a new category of modern dating that we are apparently accepting thanks to Love Island 2019.

Dare we cast our minds back to last summer, Islander Georgia called herself ‘loyal’ approximately 391 times before lunging to kiss someone who was not her betrothed. You can’t always just make a claim and expect buy-in from your audience. Want to discuss a specific market challenge, and then point to a solution? Data is your best friend – it helps to prove the problem exists, or demonstrate how precisely it can be solved. Evidence is key in comms, because you can’t take everyone at face value nowadays.

Exhibit A: Islander Tommy choosing Lucie as his first choice partner before trying to convince Amber she was definitely his first choice partner.

Be concise. And have an opinion

It seems most differences of opinion on Love Island (loud and juicy arguments) can be traced back to unclear communication. The most effective messaging is always concise and clear. And any business needs to get their messaging right first – because it should form the cornerstone of an entire communications strategy. If you have a firm belief in your right to ditch your partner for a very tall model at any point, no problem, just say so up top (Ahem, Danny).

And to land coverage in your dream media or get real engagement with your audience, you’ll need to be willing to have a firm opinion. Me-too, vanilla commentators don’t win, in love island or in life. Pick a side. Thank goodness someone told Molly-Mae this, so she could swiftly abandon her strategy of fancying everyone and anyone in the villa.

Sometimes, you need to give a little showmance

Obviously, we don’t believe all Love Islanders will be prepared to actually tolerate each other upon rejoining civilization. But the show remains heavily geared around assertions of a deep connection, despite its appalling success rate for producing long-standing relationships. The contestants know the game and are willing to play it.

In comms, you need to give a bit of a performance too. If your goal is to create thought leadership content that actually elevates your brand and builds trust in your opinions, you need to be willing to lead with unique market insight. Give your audience what they want – your knowledge and expertise on industry trends. View this as a means to grab the prize, which in this case, is credibility.

Try to avoid making it all about you – going straight in with the sales pitch and thrusting your USP at people as transparently as the Islanders do. We get it, you used to be in Blazing Squad, you’re Miss GB or you’re a heavyweight boxer – please wait all of five minutes before telling everyone in the villa.

Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose

There is a lot of life in a story. Got a piece of content with a sharp and interesting perspective? Make sure you replay it multiple times using different hooks or find a way to recast it so it works across multiple channels. Don’t chuck it in the bin instantly like many Islanders do with their ‘deep connections’ when someone beautiful is waiting for them in the hot tub. Retell your story time and time again until it really sticks.

If anything is a good argument for repurposing, it’s the fact that we are on season five of Love Island, the underlying formula of which is completely repetitive, and yet here we are, still cancelling all of our social engagements that risk running past 9pm.

 

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