In recent weeks a reality TV phenomena has swept across the British nation as it seems UK audiences can’t get enough of ITV2’s latest reality output ‘Love Island’. Viewers up and down the country have become obsessed with the series, with BBC News commenting on the show and even UK opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn backing Marcel to win.
With a reported 4.5 million tweets sent about the show, 2.5m sent during the episodes and a record 13.3million viewers so far, brands too are drawn to the show looking to capitalise on every opportunity from product placement to licensing.
Ministry of Sound is a recent example of an organic product placement, hosting a ‘Ministry of Sound Summer Party’ in the Love Island villa just as two new faces arrived. Featuring a branded pool party, with a mix of branded floats, album signage, pillows, sunglasses, balloons as well as verbal mentions by the cast members, the audience were in no doubt of the placement. One day after the episode aired, Ministry of Sound’s new album ‘Marbella Collection 2017’ hit number 1 in both the Dance and Official Albums Chart, showcasing the power of Product Placement within TV.
Another product that has appeared on the show and has become immensely popular, is the Love Island water bottle. Contestants in the house have personalised bottles which they carry throughout the series. ITV are monetising the placement by making the products available to purchase through their official Love Island app whereby they can also use the app to vote.
The shows producers have also negotiated licensing deals with most prominently Primark producing Love Island clothing and merchandise featuring the contestants many catchphrases.
When the contestants leave the series is when they truly benefit as loved-up couple Dom and Jess have proved. These ex-Love Island contestants, have been inundated with offers to promote brands on their Instagram pages since their departure to a combined 1.6million followers. Brands including AX Paris, Boohoo Man, Nutri Buddy, Sony Playstation’s Destiny video game all see the benefit of tying in with the shows new personalities.
The Love Island phenomenon wont be limited just to the UK as ITV are set to make millions from selling the Love Island format worldwide. ITV are hoping to emulate the success of Big Brother, which started in Holland and resulted in the format being replicated in more than 40 countries around the world.
Big Brother has also been a popular platform for product placement, with brands including Morrisons, Maximuscle, Very.co.uk, Microsoft, L’Oreal and Weetabix choosing the series to promote commercial partnerships.
Film Distributor Lionsgate partnered with Big Brother to raise awareness and generate buzz of the film ‘Nerve’. To integrate the placement, a ‘Nerve Centre’ was created in the house with viewers asked to tweet dares for the housemates. Verbal mentions were included when housemates were asked if they ‘had the Nerve’ before each task and advertisements for the film created to top and tail the ad breaks also promoted a Nerve competition for viewers.
Probably the most famous of all reality stars, the Kardashians, have been entertaining viewers and promoting brands since 2007. From the clothes they wear to the restaurants they dine in, with a global audience on offer, brands find placing in the show very appealing. The Lumee phone case is a great example of placement where the case is used by several members of the Kardashian family not just as a phone case, but showing the functionality of the product as it lights up for better selfie images.
Extending to social placements, The Kardashians reportedly charge as much as $300,000 per placement, with brands including Fit Tea, Lyfe Tea, Lilly Lashes, Hype Energy and many more all benefitting from the Queens of Instagram promoting their products.
It’s clear that as the appetite of reality TV grows more and more brands are realising the benefits of being placed in or associated with this latest television sensation, especially when it comes to targeting the hard to reach millennials.