What comes to mind when you think of Love Island? Sizzling hot singles and a lot of talk about good chat and banter? Or maybe the iconic sippy water bottles and slow-mo entrances. Combining all these crucial, beloved ingredients and more, Love Island’s series eight promo has just dropped and it doesn’t disappoint. This year, ITV has taken a slightly different approach to really bring out the character in a show that is nothing if not characterful: animation. The work of Brighton-based animator Leanne Rule, creative studio Kitchen at Jelly and ITV creative, the new promo introduces a new set of Islanders with balloon-like characters, while paying homage to some unforgettable past moments with hidden easter eggs.
Like a strange speed-dating version of Where’s Wally?, viewers can look out for a whole host of secret references to past seasons in the trailer – something the team at Kitchen describes as “great fun” to mastermind. Molly-Mae Hague’s stuffed teddy Ellie Belly makes an animated appearance for one – a detail Kitchen says is for die-hard fans only. The studio adds: “Trying to get the babies in as a race was important to me as that time the ‘daddy day care’ turned into mayhem always tickles me.” For Leanne: “Millie playing Keyboard is definitely my favourite easter egg, although I do also really like Jessica and Doms morning TV wedding because the fact that happened really makes me laugh. There are so many silly nods and little tongue-in-cheek moments which made it a fab project to work on.”
Another welcome challenge for Leanne on the project was taking the classic look and style of an Islander and visualising it in her own animation style. While the animator’s keenness to not take herself too seriously fitted the project to a T, Kitchen and Leanne still had to “play with” the characters extensively to make sure the final work “toed the line between being relatable, inclusive and having the characters be recognisable, but still not too realistic”. “We also wanted to make the characters look like the kind of people who would be Love Islanders, but still keep them really silly and fun looking.”
A further piece of the puzzle came in balancing Leanne’s 3D characters with 2D assets while sticking close to the animator’s style. On top of all that, comic timing and transitions were obviously key to creating a humorous effect. “Turns out all those years of watching Love Island came in handy whilst drawing up the storyboards and trying to think of a few Easter eggs to sneak in there for the Love Island heads,” concludes Kitchen.
GalleryLeanne Rule / Kitchen / ITV Creative: Love Island promo (Copyright © ITV, 2022)
Leanne Rule / Kitchen / ITV Creative: Love Island promo (Copyright © ITV, 2022)
About the Author
Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.