House proud

New Zealand Marketing - - TVNZ NZ Marketing Awards -

With lit­tle aware­ness, a tight bud­get and a whole range of com­plex­i­ties, Me­di­a­Works TV tapped into the coun­try’s pas­sion for DIY and cre­ated a na­tion of ‘Block-a-holics’.


Dur­ing 2012, a strate­gic shift saw Me­di­a­Works TV put lo­cal con­tent at the fore­front of its busi­ness and pro­gram­ming. And, due to changes in the way ad­ver­tis­ers were us­ing TV, it tried to take a lead­er­ship role in the grow­ing realm of brand funded con­tent. En­ter DIY show The Block NZ, its first large for­mat com­pet­i­tive re­al­ity show.

The show had been a mas­sive hit in many other mar­kets around the world and one sea­son of the Aus­tralian se­ries had al­ready screened on Prime, but Me­di­a­Works was ba­si­cally start­ing from scratch in terms of aware­ness. Added to that, lo­cal com­pet­i­tive re­al­ity shows had a rep­u­ta­tion for be­ing hokey and low-bud­get; the con­tes­tants were com­plete un­knowns; the hosts of the show—Mark Richard­son and Shan­non Ryan—came with only a small niche fol­low­ing; and nearly 50 per­cent of New Zealand TV watch­ers tuned into Short­land Street on TV2 at 7pm, so it would have to do some­thing spe­cial to tempt them to switch chan­nels at 7.30pm.

It couldn’t pay for mar­ket­ing sup­port for the en­tire ten- week pe­riod, so that made the launch episode cru­cial to the show’s on­go­ing suc­cess. And, with so many mov­ing parts, the project’s suc­cess re­quired the co- op­er­a­tion of in­ter­nal teams, ex­ter­nal agen­cies, foun­da­tion clients, show par­tic­i­pants, var­i­ous coun­cil bod­ies and even res­i­dents near the con­struc­tion sites.

The re­sponse

Me­di­a­Works pack­aged its tar­get 25-54 au­di­ence into two core groups: ‘ DIYers and ren­o­va­tors’ and ‘ House proud/ re­al­ity fans’. This gave it a check-group to en­sure mes­sag­ing was on tar­get. It also en­cour­aged the au­di­ence to align with a team, which it knew would be crit­i­cal to re­peat view­ing. This led to the devel­op­ment of the term ‘ Team­i­fi­ca­tion’, which be­came the foun­da­tion for the cam­paign. The teams were al­ways pic­tured as duos and re­in­forced in creative ex­e­cu­tions to help fans iden­tify their favourites early on. The main creative mes­sage—‘who will nail it?’— was sim­ple, con­sis­tent and clearly com­mu­ni­cated the show was a com­pe­ti­tion. And the com­mu­ni­ca­tions plan, which used owned, paid and earned as­sets, aimed to achieve ob­jec­tives of aware­ness, in­ter­est, in­tent (to view) and in­volve­ment.

Me­di­a­Works knew it was es­sen­tial for dis­cus­sion to take place dur­ing the show to drive rat­ings. And from episode one it ex­e­cuted live chat through Face­book and Twit­ter as part of a sec­ond screen strat­egy. All comms, in­clud­ing mo­bile, off air and on air, pointed to the of­fi­cial on­line fanzone, while the Face­book page posted in­ter­est­ing tid­bits, with spe­cial weight­ing to the teams’ re­gions to drive pro­vin­cial sup­port.


As hoped, the show’s mar­ket­ing “got view­ers there” for the first episode and reached its goal of achiev­ing a 12 or higher rat­ing point. 50 per­cent of episode one view­ers re­turned for ev­ery sub­se­quent episode (on av­er­age). And this re­peat view­ing made it the net­work’s high­est rat­ing show of the year. There was a huge pub­lic turn out at the var­i­ous events, and par­tic­u­larly the two open homes. And the au­di­ence—and the on­line chat­ter—peaked at the live auc­tion fi­nale, which earned a 15.6 rat­ing.

The show was a huge on­de­mand suc­cess and reached a record for a TV3 show on so­cial me­dia, grow­ing from 0 to 26,272 fans. It was also good for TV3, al­low­ing for more com­mer­cial con­ver­sa­tions around brand funded con­tent project and more pow­er­ful on-air pro­mo­tions. The suc­cess of the show also gave the net­work the con­fi­dence to em­bark on more multi- plat­form en­ter­tain­ment projects such as X Fac­tor NZ. And as a trib­ute to the suc­cess of the first sea­son, all the pro­gramme part­ners—BP, Ki­wibank, Bun­nings and Mazda—have re­turned for sea­son two. And so have large parts of the mar­ket­ing plan.

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