Love Island: a self branding dream?

Despite its popularity and viewing figures, Love Island gets a pretty bad reputation. Piers Morgan has called contestants “bimbos” while Twitter users have slated them as “stupid”, “naive” and “self-obsessed”. 

With this in mind, you’d be forgiven for questioning whether it’s time we stopped holding these people up as ‘influencers’. 

However, the more you think about it, and if you actually look into it, would you think their approach to improving or launching their career is actually something to admire? 

Love Island is arguably one of the biggest shows on TV – catapulting seemingly ordinary joes into a world of fame and success almost overnight. 

Contestants know what they need to do to make it to the final few days of the show, and if they do, they’ll be guaranteed brand deals and collaborations worth big bucks. 

Contrary to how they’re described in the press, this year’s hopefuls aren’t just club promoters and wannabe Instagram models, but also well-educated professionals competing for the £50,000 cash prize and spotlight that comes with it, too. 

From estate agents and recruitment consultants to engineers and police officers, there are individuals in there who know what they’re doing. In the past, there’s been bomb disposal specialists, A&E doctors, pharmacists and business owners. So why do the educated come across so uneducated? 

It’s the way the show is put together, the most entertaining conversations over 24 hours are edited into 45 minutes. Can you imagine an entertainment show producer cherry-picking out of everything you have said in a day?

I’m a 23-year-old girl, I have a first-class degree, and a good job, I deal with directors, CEO’s, national newspaper editors and TV producers on a daily basis, and I’m confident in doing so but sometimes I do say stupid things – we all do. 

And is that necessarily a bad thing? These people in this villa are completely switched off to the outside world, no news, no social media, no contact with family – all they have in there is each other, and all they have to do is talk and think. 

It’s a month-long holiday in a beautiful hot country, they’ve let go and are relaxing, so surely it’s forgivable for them to discuss what their favourite number is – which one contestant Jess did and was subsequently described as “stupid” for. 

Love Island stars have a unique opportunity when they enter that villa, with the most popular leaving to hundreds of thousands of followers and top brands queuing up to work with them – so really, is it the ending of their career or ruining of their reputation or is it actually the enhancement? The runners up in 2016, Olivia Buckland & Alex Bowen, are now married and worth an expected £4.4million, 2018 winner Dani Dyer has an expected worth of £1.7million and almost all previous winners and runners up are expected to have a worth over £1million. 

They know their audience, have identified their brand message and are cashing in spectacularly. Nothing remotely studio about that!



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