The Block is going off in Australia at the moment as it reaches the final stages of the current season, and MediaWorks is doing its best to ensure the same thing happens for the first season of the New Zealand version, launching a full-scale marketing assault created by the inhouse team that’s been pretty difficult to miss.
After more than 1000 applications, the four competing couples were named last week (check them out here) and Amanda Wilson, head of marketing for TV3 and Four, says this week is known internally as “The Blockout” phase, with a heavy marketing push building towards next Wednesday’s premiere at 7.30pm (it will screen on Wednesday and Thursday nights).
Outside of extensive outdoor, radio and print activity (mostly with official magazines, ACP’s Woman’s Day and Your Home & Garden), there has been a big on-air promotional plan across both TV3 and Four, with a promo clip set to the tune of ‘Come On Now’ by John Butler Trio.
"The great thing about The Block NZ is there are going to be plenty of opportunities for viewers to really get involved, culminating in a series of open homes in which viewers will be able to come into the homes and check them out themselves and then witness the final live auction," she says. "Supporters of individual contestants are already debating which couple will ‘nail it’, buying into the promotional line that has been used to launch the show.
Wilson says she expects the viewers will have plenty to say about which rooms and houses they like—and on the decisions made by the couples—so online discussion and engagement is definitely a key focus and so far 2500 fans have already followed The Block NZ Facebook page. Also, the ‘Create A Room App’, which was produced by Salt Interactive, went live yesterday and offers fans the chance to design their own rooms, share them with friends and vote for their favourites.
“We’ve also utilised Pluk in the launch promotion and viewers with the app can Pluk promos to find out more about the couples, who each have their own video profile,” she says. “As you can tell, a pretty comprehensive and detailed campaign which has been pulled together by a very busy internal team. We’ve also worked closely with all major sponsors of the show to leverage their sponsorship and they have some very exciting and interesting plans to roll out.”
MediaWorks publicist Rachel Lorimer wouldn’t discuss any specifics around the level of advertiser interest, aside from saying “it’s certainly in demand” and following it up with one of the many housing-related puns that have been flowing freely in the media: “A hot property even.”
And now we wait to see how many times the headline ‘New Kids on The Block’ is used. Internal sources tell us the count has already reached two.