Touching Gold: How to attract a younger audience to TV viewing – Part Three

It’s day three of our analysis into some of the key ingredients for marketing when trying to attract a 16-34 year old demographic … and it’s a biggie – social!


Having social high on the agenda when targeting 16-34 year olds may seem like a given, but it does not always happen. However, everyone can take some lessons from the undisputed dons of social – Love Island. This year the show clocked up an incredible 2 billion Twitter impressions… that’s 2 BILLION. So how did they do it?


The show is undoubtedly aided by its live/ almost live nature. However, it’s approach to social is also multi layered and very smart. The tactics include:


  • A flow of fresh content, direct from the stars of the show – Islanders are not only given phones to receive texts from the producers, they are also encouraged to take heaps of photos and videos. This content then feeds directly into Love Island’s social channels to create closer links between viewer and villa. Social channels were born to give proximity to people when they were not together – so, the more behind-the-scenes, direct from the talent content shared, the better.


  • Valuing the contribution of fansLove Island recognises the value of their fans, and puts them up on a pedastal, via a dedicated Twitter account for the top fan reactions. Acknowledging the contribution of fans in this way keeps the tweets coming, thick and fast, and encourages contributors to up their game in the hope that one of their messages will end up on the feed.


  • Daily exclusives – Twitter delivers exclusives on a daily basis which, on one level, serves as a treat for those following, but (far more importantly) forces all fans to keep up to date with the live shows, or risk seeing a spoiler.


Executive producer Tom Gould recently pointed out that, contrary to popular belief, putting content on social media first didn’t cannibalise viewing, instead it just ramped up the excitement for that night’s episode and generated further WOM. Winner!


  • Weaving social content back into the show – Uniquely to Love Island, comments on social can becomes part of the narrative, as tweets from fans get back into the villa via certain challenges. Whilst this two way use of social isn’t possible on most shows, responding to what’s happening on social asap is. In Stranger Things, when Barb became the unexpected hero of series 1, new content, memes, Reddit threads and merchandise were all produced to fuel the conversation.


Supporting core social campaigns with other key digital channels is also a fundamental practice – getting creative with Snapchat filters, Spotify playlists or apps all work to keep the audience sharing and celebrating the content.