When the tabloids were full of complaints about the Love Island cast’s excessive smoking, U.K. e-liquid company Totally Wicked saw an opportunity to mix a little harm reduction with some good old-fashioned self-promotion.
Teaming up with the British Lung Foundation, the independent vaping company urged TV network ITV to provide the nic-craving twentysomethings some low-risk alternatives. Totally Wicked boss Fraser Cropper implored the TV execs to set a better example for the show’s millions of devoted followers.
“We’re aware of some of the negative headlines around smoking that the programme has attracted,” Cropper wrote in a letter to ITV. “I wondered if you would also consider joining forces with us and the BLF in order to help contestants ditch the habit. And, also to drive home a positive message to viewers.”
It’s too soon to know if the Love Island cast members will pick up vaping, but so far at least one has been spotted with an e-cig in place of his usual smoke.
Love Island is kind of a combo of The Real World and Survivor, but with more skin and sex than either of those “reality” programs. The British show features a cast of attractive young people living in a resort villa on the Spanish Mediterranean island of Mallorca. The contestants are required to pair up, and each couple sleeps in a double bed. Wacky hijinks ensue.
This isn’t the first time Totally Wicked has made a splash with some clever asymmetrical marketing to make a point. Who can forget the company’s trolling of vape-hating Welsh politician Mark Drakeford? They also bought naming rights for a rugby venue — now Totally Wicked Stadium — and made sure that fans are able to vape there too.
The plucky independent e-liquid maker also challenged the TPD in the European Court of Justice, which earned Totally Wicked respect from vapers everywhere.