This summer the nation has been captivated by two great spectacles of modern entertainment – Love Island and The World Cup. In many ways these two are very similar: both are dramatic, both are addictive, and both make you spend far too much time sitting in a dark room shouting at the TV.
We’re gripped by both, and this insatiable interest breeds a lot of curiosity, and these days curiosity tends to get us to Googling. So, as a bit of fun, we decided to analyse a week of Google search trends to see which of the ITV programmes had piqued more curiosity amongst their respective audiences.
Official merchandise has always been big business in the sporting world, but now Love Island’s famous water bottles have brought this money-spinning phenomenon into the new arena of reality TV. Unbelievably these clear plastic bottles with lurid pink lettering have been so popular that they’ve completely sold out on loveislandshop.co.uk (yes, that’s a real website), despite a hefty £15 price tag.
Interest in the water bottle peaks steadily every evening when Love Island airs. Interest in England kit is erratic. There was a peak just before the kick off against Belgium and then a few days of very little interest. The elation after the Columbia game caused a huge spike, and this interest had a small rise the next morning as bleary-eyed football fans woke up for work.
Love Island may sound far-flung and exotic, but in fact to join in the fun you only have to go as far as Mallorca. Flight sales to the Mediterranean island have risen by 60% since the show restarted this Summer.
Mallorca flights peak between 02:00 and 03:00 each evening. Interestingly their lowest peak is after the most traumatic recoupling – perhaps such a painful episode put a few punters off? Flight interest for Russia peaks at 22:00 after the Colombia win (in line with England kit interest), and then has a very strong resurgence at 07:00. From this we can draw two hypotheses: 1) Football fans who want to fly to Russia are already proud wearers of an England shirt. 2) These fans were still drunk at seven o’clock the next morning.
Georgia Steel and Marcus Rashford are both 20 years old, but that’s pretty much where the similarities end.
One is a level-headed and outrageously talented professional footballer who’s on 55k a week at Manchester United. The other is a part-time student, party-time party animal who once famously dared herself to jump into a swimming pool. Despite their differences, they have both piqued our curiosity this summer.
Georgia’s loyalty proved to be her downfall as she was abandoned by Josh. However, this tragic series of events endeared her to the nation and curiosity about her skyrocketed; so much so that even Rashford’s sublime penalty against Columbia couldn’t put him close to reaching her dizzying search volumes.
“How to” searches are becoming more and more popular. The top ten global “how to” queries from last year revealed how diverse they searches are – varying from the practical “how to tie a tie”, to the intimate “how to get pregnant”, to the trivial “how to make french toast”.
Perhaps the particular query below isn’t as specifically relevant to Love Island as those that have come before, but on a deeper level (don’t worry, I’m not about to go full Eyal) media does undeniably affect our perception of the world around us, and what happens on Love Island will, to a certain extent, have an impact on how young people’s preconceptions surrounding human relationships.
“How to fall in love” always peaks late at night. It reaches it’s highest point at 03:00 the night after England’s win over Columbia. We can only theorise, but perhaps disgruntled other-halves have at this point grown sick and tired of hearing those three words over and over again, that endless chorus of “It’s coming home”.