How Superdrug has evolved its partnership with ITV off the back of Love Island's success

Millions of people are gearing up for the Love Island finale tonight. The third series is coming to an end after an extended eight weeks instead of the usual six. The spike in ITV's ratings has also been a triumph for the brands involved in the show.

Superdrug, which has been a sponsor since the first series in 2016, reported a 112% year-on-year rise in suncare sales last week. Simon Comins, commercial director at Superdrug, explains that the partnership has helped "drive fantastic awareness" of its core brands, in particular Solait. "We saw a huge increase in conversation around Solait when Charlie sprayed himself with Solait Shimmering Oil Spray," he says.

Campaign speaks to Comins about how Superdrug has evolved its commercial proposition as Love Island continues to attract record audiences.

What is it about the format of the show that drew you to sponsoring it?

One of the biggest draws for us with the sponsorship is the sheer size of the audience the show attracts and a large proportion of the demographic being one of our key customer bases.

The show by its very nature encourages engagement, whether it’s voting off your least favourite contestant, or discussing favourites and sharing memes on social media. This format gives us the perfect opportunity to actively engage with these customers.

How have you developed your commercial proposition for Love Island this year?

For 2018 we wanted to turn our partnership with Love Island from a sponsorship into a fully integrated campaign. We worked with Mindshare UK to bring our partnership to life across all channels, including traditional TV, social media, mobile and exclusive content with islanders on our YouTube channel.

The other development for us this year has been the opportunity to maximise the partnership with a range of Love Island products, and we have been able to work even more closely with our suppliers, which are also partners of the show.

How important is it that your products are used in the show?

Products and product placement play an important role within the partnership, with some real synergies between what we sell and what the Islanders need. We have a range of own-brand products including B skincare and Solait suncare and the show has helped to drive awareness of these.

The show’s idents have also been a great platform for us to talk about our services and in particular the launch of our new mobile network.

What lessons have you learned about your consumers through the sponsorship?

The views we get from traditional sponsorship are almost as important as our ability to bring it to life on social media in real-time, so we are connecting with customers wherever they are talking about the show. We’ve had to be even more reactive and responsive this year compared with last year.

Who's your favourite contestant?

My favourite couple is the bookies' favourite Jack and Dani. Jack is a funny guy and their relationship seems genuine.

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