I promise this is an intellectual post about brand partnerships and looking at authentic promotion! I hope you weren’t misled by the headline and switched off immediately – there’s potential, just wait! Also hope you caught my play on words in the headline. I even capitalised it for you.
Before you start to worry about the possibility of losing a few brain cells by reading this post about Love Island, I actually will be talking about Influencer Marketing and how an authentic partnership always works best.
If you haven’t heard of Love Island or don’t know what the show is about (who are you trying to kid?) then let me give you the general idea. The show sees single boys and girls from the UK live together in a villa in Spain, couple up and hope to find the loves of their lives. And win the £50,000 prize at the end. There’s always drama, new boys and girls added in to stir things up and plenty of six packs on show.
If you are a fan of the show, take my advice and watch Love Island Australia (available on the ITV Hub) because it’s so much better. There’s probably more drama in one episode of the Oz version than the entire last series of the UK one.
The usual outcome
When these ‘nobodies’ go into Love Island, they know they’re going to come out being ‘somebodies’. With the whole of the UK watching, they’re the most talked about people in the country in the weeks leading up to summer.
For the majority of them, before they even leave the villa and have their first bit of contact with the outside world, they will have been assigned an agent and have a UK Club Tour of personal appearances to last until Christmas. The prize money of £50k doesn’t matter anymore as the show gives them all the exposure they need to make about ten times this.
Most of the girls will come out and partner with clothing sites like InTheStyle, Pretty Little Thing and Boohoo straight away. That’s always predictable. Then you’ll see the Instagram ads promoting teeth whitening strips, hair growth supplements and detox teas. Also always predictable. When these people enter the villa, they walk out with a career and for some, that’s the underlying aim – they’re not actually there to find love.
The unusual outcome
What I didn’t expect was the most perfect brand partnership to come from none other than, Pot Noodle. Honestly. It was very unusual, but actually the most perfect partnership to come out of Love Island this year.
I don’t tend to follow many of the reality stars from Love Island on Instagram as they mainly promote what I mentioned in the previous paragraph, but I liked Alexandra Cane. She was curvy, naturally pretty and seemed like a fierce, independent woman. She also ate endless amounts of Pot Noodles.
She would usually have an Instagram story most days of the week of her sitting eating a Pot Noodle, claiming to be ‘obsessed’. The eagle eyed watchers at Pot Noodle, soon caught wind of the obsession and set Alex around 30 pots of the stuff along with Pot Noodle merchandise, including a bikini with images of the product on. I thought it was humorous, but clever on Pot Noodle’s behalf.
The paid partnership
A few weeks after the season ended, I soon returned to my normal life that didn’t involve watching endless episodes of Love Island and following the contestants lives outside of the villa and soon forgot all about Alex’s obsession with Pot Noodles. Until I was watching something online and an advert for Pot Rice’s appeared, with none other than Alexandra eating one in the advert.
Authentic? Yes. An actual consumer of the product? Yes. A good brand ambassador? Absolutely.
The advert even had a Love Island theme with ‘Couple up with Mr. Rice’ as the tagline. In the advert, Alexandra walks over to the pot of rice on the counter, saying: “I know we’ve only just met but, to me you’re perfect in every way.” The advert ends with Alex saying: “I always knew there was someone out there for me.”
I wasn’t the only one to notice this clever marketing and also great building of an Influencer relationship. Alexandra posted the advert to her Instagram page where she has 1.1 million followers. The general comments included “Knew this wouldn’t take long,” and “This collaboration is the perfect coupling.”
Isn’t this how it should be all the time?
Shouldn’t all brand partnerships be like this? With the Influencer being a genuine consumer of the product and then recommending it to their followers organically? Then once a PR picks up on this, send more products, start to talk about the Influencer’s love for the brand/products and build a relationship from there. Then, if the option is there, partner up on an authentic campaign.
Like the campaign above, it was perfect timing. Pot Noodle were just about to re-launch their Pot Rices and here they had an Influencer with over 1 million followers on Instagram, fresh out of Love Island and a continuosly growing following promoting their brand for free. The opportunity was there, so they went for it and it was a great success. I’m quite happy in the fact that someone like Alexandra with an amazing figure eats Pot Noodles all day, so that means it’s ok for me to do so too… right? An Influencer being… influential. Who’d have thought?
We all know the most authentic, genuine and perfect partnership would be between me and Diet Coke. Only they haven’t been in contact yet. Hopefully one day. Maybe if I appear on Love Island my prayers will finally be answered??