Love Island, the hit reality format that captured the ‘lost generation’ of younger TV viewers, places young singletons into a beach-side villa with the ultimate goal of taking home the prize money. The summer smash series had previously run for two series when ITV challenged Monterosa to inject fresh thinking into the show’s digital and commercial life, via a dedicated app for fans.
What emerged was a mainstream hit that crossed over into popular culture in a way not seen since Big Brother. Both show and app indulged viewers with guilt-free pleasure on a daily basis, making it essential for young audiences to interact with the show, purchase product, and tune into live TV.
ITV wanted to create an app that would help grow daily engagement with the format among the show’s young superfans, with exclusive content and interaction.
TV producers wanted the ability to launch next-generation polling and voting that would dictate key show outcomes, in an instant, so the technology had to be trustworthy and the user experience modern and fresh.
ITV wanted to make the most of the format’s popularity and was looking for new commercial models that would generate incremental revenue through both sponsorship and direct merchandise sales.
CREATING A REASON TO COME BACK
Our creative team developed an experience that would appeal to younger audiences; people who spend their times consuming content through social networks and messaging apps.
This wasn’t just about refreshing the identity and the look, we needed to create interactive reasons to come back to the app between live show transmissions; and this was all about enabling the show’s producers to create content in a fast and agile manner.
The record breaking Love Island app was powered by LViS, Monterosa's market-leading interactive platform, and based on Fan Companion for the ultimate digital fan experience. Social-style news feeds, Tinder-esque swiping and popular interactive experiences like emoji raters, all within a distinctly on-brand Love Island environment, were all pivotal elements that turned out to be too popular for the audience to resist.
Viewers were clearly all-in, with 2.5M app downloads over the 6 week period. On peak days almost half of the TV audience were using the app, the highest conversion we have ever seen. Viewers actively engaged each day through the help of a strategic push notification strategy deployed through Monterosa's powerful platform. We surpassed ITV's expectations, racking up a phenomenal 17.5M total content views.
Satisfying both the broadcaster and title sponsor Superdrug, who were front and centre of all interactivity, was a key objective met by the app. Strategic sponsorship integration into the most important audience touchpoints, such as voting, proved to be a highly effective means of activating Superdrug's sponsorship within the app, and a blueprint for all future in-app activations. By series finale we had delivered a hugely impressive 4.6M click-throughs to sponsor’s assets via in-app promotion.
While apps play a supporting role in building the popularity of a TV show, they play a central role in monetising it. For the first time, we launched an exclusive fan shop where people could buy products from fast-fashion slogan T-shirts to the iconic personalised water bottles and phone cases.
By using social media buzz monitoring to drive decision-making, we selected products based on audience demand. Revenues were in excess of £1.5m, proving that digital products can play a pivotal role in converting passive engagement to active sales.