Filthy Rich is returning for season two next week and ahead of the drama that's set to unfold, TVNZ Blacksand's rolled out a campaign that gives the audience a good look at the characters and how they might be involved.
Despite some a lukewarm response from critics, season one drew an average weekly audience of 250,000 New Zealanders and TVNZ will be looking to build on that this season by attracting a few new eyeballs to the drama.
TVNZ Blacksand executive creative director Jens Hertzum says things will intensify in season two, with a strong focus on revenge and retribution—and this necessitated a campaign that would pique audience attention and alert them to the twists and turns ahead.
He describes the programme like a game of snakes and ladders, as characters work their way up the board and sometimes go falling down and that’s reflected in the campaign, which he calls a “luxury ad ambush”.
Backed by the 1883 ‘Flower Duet’ opera, the videos feature some of the main characters standing in front of the camera and lifting their heads to a position of prestige as the camera zooms in on them.
However, that status is soon pulled out from underneath them as spray painted text appears and replaces any positive descriptions with negative ones.
“It makes you feel as if it’s majestic and beautiful to be one of the one percenters, but then ultimately we vandalise the creative and expose the true colours of these people – which is not very pleasant.”
There’s Jono Jnr who at first looks like a VIP but is actually a VI pig, Brady who’s a backstabber rather than a high roller and Joe who’s knocked from the high-life pedestal to be called a low life.
It’s that reveal that serves to be the hook to get people to tune in, Hertzum says, because audiences will want to know why the characters aren’t what they seem.
And once they're watching they will enjoy the “soap-esque” portrayal of what it’s like to be rich in New Zealand.
“There’s a bit of fantasy involved, people think ‘would I do that?’, ‘what would I do with all that money?, and ‘would I backstab that person?’,” he says.
The creative has also been taken into an out-of-home campaign and a real spray paint artist was used to vandalise the posters and show the characters for who they really are.
Beyond the music and text, the colour purple has been used across the campaign to make it stand out as something entirely different as well as tie the programme into TVNZ 2’s colouring.
It's a clear shift from the first season of Filthy Rich that made its mark on the screen last year amid a cloud of flying $100 notes and gold tones.
Hertzum says that campaign had to introduce the storyline of a man falling from a high-rise building to his death and his suitcase bursting open to send loose bills into the breeze.
This time, the audiences are familiar with the story and its characters so the campaign can play into more of the twists and turns and what it means to be filthy rich. The season goes to air on TVNZ 2 on 11 July.
Group Marketing Manager – Helen Fitzsimons
Marketing Manager – Clare Barker
Campaign Manager – Quentin Fullerton-Smith
Executive Creative Director – Jens Hertzum
Creative Director – Dan Martin
Producer – Tim Costar
Art Director – Jacob Slack
Graphics Designer – Roseanne Lee
Graphic Designer – Nick Delaney
Digital Designer – Jeff Lau