Following on from last year's elaborate faux real estate campaign for Agent Anna's first season, TVNZ's in-house agency Blacksand has again tapped into the fake reality theme for the promotion of the dramedy's second season.
Shot in an actual rental home, the stunt features Robyn Malcolm in character as klutzy Anna Kingston showing real visitors—and potential tenants—around a home, which has been set up with a variety of booby traps that result in some awkward interactions.
The experiential stunt was shot with a range of hidden cameras that were installed in the house prior to the arrival of the viewers, and creative producer Kirrily Denny attributes its successful execution to Malcolm's expertise as an actress.
"Robyn was brilliant to work with," she says. "She was so up for it and just jumped straight in. And you could really tell that she has stage experience because she was so natural in the role in front of absolute strangers."
Creative director Matt Goodwin says that in addition to being humorous the stunt also hints at some of the central themes that will run through the second season.
"I think the stunt brings to life the playful tagline "Real Estate Just Got Dodgy-er" - bringing her endearing fumbling to life in the real world. She's really going for it this season," he says.
Another theme that will form an integral part of season two is Anna's transformation from a pushover into someone stronger and more independent—and this is relayed in the on-air promos that launched the series.
"She undergoes something of a makeover in the second season. She grows more balls and really starts to take on the world. We also paid extra to feature the Katy Perry track, because it serves as something of an anthem for the character," says Goodwin.
Despite the optimism about the second season of the show, some online critics have questioned whether it was prudent for TVNZ to relaunch the show, but both Goodwin and Denny are unfazed by the negativity.
"Look, everybody has their opinions," says Denny. " "I think the show is great, and it's also fantastic that TVNZ continues to support local content. The writers always had a longer plan for Anna, and it's going to be great to see this come to life.""
Goodwin also adds that, according to Nielsen's statistics for those aged five and older, the first season averaged a 24 percent audience share over six episodes and Season two launched last Thursday with a 27 percent share.
This latest campaign comes off the back of a creative patch for Blacksand, which included last year's integrated campaign for the finale of Shortland Street as well as a fake real estate campaign for the first season of Agent Anna.
"The first [Agent Anna] campaign really introduced the public to Robyn's character across various channels, and heralded her into the consciousness of potential viewers. The promotion was fully integrated with online activations, billboards and a TVC, all of which were presented as a real estate campaign."