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From #ISIF to eBay: Analysing audience reactions to Love Island’s fashion partnership

Love it or hate it, Love Island is once again back on our screens, delighting and disgruntling audiences alike with its uniquely creative (and not so creative) stretching of language. But how has the conversation changed now that eBay has taken over from I Saw It First as the show’s main sponsor?

From ‘vibes’ and getting ‘mugged off’ to doing ‘bits’ and good old-fashioned ‘grafting’; Love Island lingo has well and truly turned our heads. But there is one topic that has remained a constant obsession for fans throughout the show’s many series: fashion. So how much do fans care about the shift in fashion partner? And is the sustainability of clothing a positive step forward in conversation or simply irrelevant? We wanted to find out.

Using Twitter audience insights to unpick audience reactions

With our powerful audience insights tool – designed to find the nuance behind the data – we compared this year’s fashion-specific Love Island tweets with last year’s to track whether the conversation around fashion has changed.

What did we discover about audience reactions through our social insights? Well it turns out that there’s as much passion offscreen as on…

Specific commentary on Love Island fashion was more common in 2021

Last year, fans were all about the Love Island clothes themselves, with 31.2x more mentions of ‘dress’, 18.2x more mentions of ‘shoes’ and 17.5x more mentions of ‘clothes’. This commentary often took a slightly critical edge, with some fans eager to analyse specific outfits and looks:

“Bold of you to wear a blazer dress after liberty’s burn”

“At this point that £50k is nothing compared to the endless fast fashion deals they’re getting”

Boohoo was mentioned more last year, particularly in relation to deals

Despite the fact that I Saw It First was the show’s official sponsor, it was Boohoo that was the brand who got the lion’s share of mentions in 2021. Boohoo did commit to a huge advertising presence round the show, but it’s interesting that Boohoo has become more synonymous with the show than the show’s official partner. We saw this this year, the phrase ‘Boohoo deals’, is completely absent from conversations, despite it playing an important part in fans’ analysis last year:

“He’s twerking on Love Island for boohoo deals”

“These lot are thinking of boohoo deals and not the 50k”

As the audience insights show, this fixation with Boohoo deals in 2021 often manifested in fans’ direct criticism of the contestants themselves for supposedly coming on the show for future deals, rather than to meet a partner and collect the prize money.

Fast fashion is this year’s hot topic, according to our social insights

If, in 2021, fans were more critical of individual contestants, in 2022 the spotlight has shifted to the Love Island production team and the wider fashion industry.

‘Fast fashion’ is 19.8x more likely to be mentioned this year, with markedly mixed comments:

“this boots combo… mmm bring back fast fashion”

“I know they’re not doing fast fashion but what’s everyone wearing please”

“Fyi, you’re showing ads for fast fashion companies”

The mixed opinions continue into the topic of ‘sustainability’, which is 9.3x more likely to come up in 2022:

“Very excited for what this will do for sustainable fashion!”

“Love Island could’ve partnered with a sustainable brand instead of Ebay”

So… sustainable, fast, or just furious?

The jury is still out on whether the shift from Boohoo to eBay has pleased or perturbed fans. From “ngl proper rate that the official fashion partner is Ebay” to “Lose the Ebay 2nd hand stuff!”; it’s clear that audience reactions are decidedly diverse.

One certainty is that the wider fashion debate around sustainability is growing, with ‘eBay’ 148.7x more likely to come up in 2022. Fans are more engaged and more critical than ever this year. This is especially directed at the bigger industry picture and the Love Island formula itself, rather than the individual Islanders.

Get in touch today to see how we can help you look behind text data from any source to really learn what audiences think.

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