July 24, 2018
(Pictures courtesy of ITV2 - Love Island)
Advertising is about pushing our buttons. If you are a prospective or new parent, your buttons may be a little sore and vulnerable! Brands will pay for a Billboard or TV slot at the ends of the earth if that is the right place and time to push their product with a message that makes you feel, I want (or need) some of that.
We are at our most vulnerable to their siren call when we’re tired, ticked-off, tipsy or two months after childbirth. When emotions are running high, as many misguided robots and aliens have told us over the years, “resistance is useless.”
And that was before Love Island shifted the advertising gears again, delivering “real” people as aspirational adverts into our living rooms.
Back in the day, which at this rate was probably only the day before yesterday, product placement was openly derided. Remember rolling your eyes at James Bond opting for Heineken over a Martini in Skyfall? Lady Gaga curling her hair with Diet Coke cans in her video for Telephone? And if you have navigated life so far without indulging in Wayne’s World, rectify your omission and spot a Reebok resplendent Garth, holding a can of Coke at the camera and lamenting, "It's like,” he says, “people only do things because they get paid, and that's just really sad.”
Today, as the High Street wilts under the inexhaustible energy of online shopping, product placement has leapt and bound into the mainstream. Take Instagram.
Countless sage and highly-attractive sources of virtual wisdom are paid, bribed or bamboozled into tacitly or overtly endorsing products that will make you feel better about yourself – or the persona you wish to portray. But even the Insta route to market feels analogue to the Love Island, real-time tsunami, currently capturing the zeitgeist. Now, you can download the ITV2 app for free and buy your favourite contestant’s fashion clobber as they relentlessly bicker, back-stab and bonk across your flat screen or catch-up app throughout the warm evenings of June and July - the window is open, the warm breeze washes over you, the cork is popped, the hormones are titillated. Why not make a cheeky purchase and help yourself to a bit of what they’re having?
The power of Instagram and Youtube’s persuasion seems gentle in comparison to Love Island’s ability to feed you the motive (look like they do), method (the app) and means (frictionless payment) to part with your cash.
But hold the phone (pun intended). Why not? If a trip into town, traffic queues and car park wars are increasingly less your shopping bag – buying something online you have seen a “real” person wear makes sense, right? It takes away the guesswork and the hassle. And it’ll be on your doorstep by tomorrow afternoon. It’s difficult to see the downsides. And that may, just be the problem. Did you really need a Love Island modelled pair of Rose Gold Metallic Block Heeled Sandals (£28)? What about a White Floral Flared Sleeve Tie Front Blouse (£25)? Or a White Stripe Denim Jacket (£60)?
Maybe you did. You probably didn’t.
It’s no coincidence, Brands enjoy their best online sales on Mondays – because Mondays are rubbish and we want a pick-me-up. And when does the evening online shopping curve bend upwards? 8pm. It’s another warm evening, the window is open, the cork is popped, the hormones are….you get the picture. Emotions.
Now, not only do they know what we’re watching (Love Island), they know what we are feeling about the people and their clothes as the saga unfolds (social media), and lo and behold, the shop we can get it all from in an instant, is parked in our living rooms.
But resistance isn’t useless. Not being suckered is a matter of self-awareness and self-preservation. It’s about knowing ourselves and recognising our emotions when it comes to influences on the distribution of our wonga.
It’s about protecting ourselves from WTF moments with a bit of new, responsible parenting strategy. Here’s a few that might work. Or might not - after all, they really do seem to be having so much fun on Love Island!
Try and consolidate your digital spending into as few methods as possible. Ideally one. Use Paypal or an app like Money Dashboard, or the app from your bank to look at how much you spend on X, Y or Zara dresses every month. You might be in for a shock.
Identify a intervention method. For example, never allow yourself to buy something in the moment. Wait for an ad break and make a cup of tea; check the baby; get your stuff ready for work the next day; take the baby / dog out; add it to a wish list. If you still need and want stripy swimming shorts when you return to the sofa, or in the cold light of morning – buy them!
Never store your credit/debit card on websites – it’s toooooo easy. Force yourself to enter the long number every time.
Get radical – delete the apps and alerts you spend via: Mothercare, Amazon, Love Island!
See if you can get what you want cheaper elsewhere. The natural break in your impulse will give you time to really consider the purchase. Or you might find it cheaper!
Things that make life easier, will never go away. The contraceptive pill in the 1960’s; satnav in the nineties; one click ordering in the noughties, pre-cut onions and bags of ice are all here to say. Whether you you have a frock-fetish; are a frazzled, first-time Father, or frankly, you’ve had too much Prosecco, frictionless shopping is not going to go away. It’s going to get more and more frictionless.
The Love Island contestants may all look like they've been poured out of the same suntan lotion bottle, but just like the rest of us, they have different characteristics when it comes to cash.
Take our quick quiz, find out your personality type, then compare with your other half. Are you a financial match or destined for money disharmony? https://m.me/1528723704042997?ref=7e0fmHDeZa88ogiYG6yKYS:LoveIslandArticle