ANZ invests in the property market with Grand Designs production partnership

ANZ holds around one third of the country’s home loan market and it’s made a concerted push to retain that—and presumably improve that—recently with a new campaign showing the frisson of buying property at auction. Last year it put its name beside TVNZ’s Art of the Architect and now it’s backing the other team, signing on as a production partner for the upcoming New Zealand version of Grand Designs New Zealand. 

At an event last week, ANZ chief executive David Hisco and MediaWorks TV chief executive Paul Maher announced the deal. And, to celebrate, it brought Grand Designs UK host Kevin McCloud across to give a talk about the evolution of the show, some of his favourite projects and his design philosophy. 

Grand Designs is undoubtedly the gold standard when it comes to home renovation shows,” says head of retail and business marketing Matt Pickering. “Helping bring the show to New Zealand is a great fit for ANZ given that around one in three New Zealanders get their home loan from us … Kevin was a true gentleman and just as charming and eloquent as you would expect. It was a fantastic opportunity to give over 400 of our customers the opportunity to hear from him in person—and grab a selfie while they were at it.” 

Pickering wouldn’t reveal how much ANZ was tipping in, but it’s thought to be significantly more than its sponsorship of Art of the Architect, which received NZ on Air funding of $1,162,397 for eight episodes. Grand Designs NZ, which is being made by Imagination Television, received NZ on Air funding of $550,000 for ten episodes, so, to maintain the high standards seen in its home market, a production partner was required. At the event, McCloud said that while the UK show is screened in almost 150 countries, very few markets have taken the leap and created their own because it takes so long to film (the longest build it followed took five years) and is therefore very expensive. 

There has been some debate about whether NZ on Air should be funding local versions of international formats, but if its decisions around NZ’s Got Talent and X Factor NZ are any gauge, it appears to give them a start and then taper the funding off (it dedicated $800,000 to another season of X Factor NZ after giving $1.6 million for the first season, but said this will be the last time it funds the show).

Grand Designs New Zealand will be in production for 12 months and will feature ten ambitious projects from around the country,” says Maher in a release. “Together we’re going to be showcasing some very creative, enterprising and entertaining New Zealanders.”

The last season of Grand Designs UK on TV3 rated 288,100 in 5+ and 156,200 in 25-54 and the last season of Grand Designs Australia rated 205,300 in 5+ and 88,000 in 25-54. According to NZ on Air, an average of 378,643 in 5+ watched Art of the Architect. on TV One. 

As for the all-important host, that’s being announced on Thursday at MediaWorks’ new season launch, but McCloud said the host was “the real deal”, which can mean only one thing: Richie McCaw (The Herald on Sunday had a few suggestions of its own).  

In 2013, ANZ contributed more than $12 million in sponsorship and donations to the community. Grand Designs New Zealand joins other properties such as the ANZ Netball Championship, the ANZ cricket series, Lydia Ko, the New Zealand Olympic team, the RSA’s ANZ Cyril Bassett Speech Contest and the Cancer Society. 

Grand Designs New Zealand, which is currently asking for applications, will screen on TV3, with additional content across radio and online, in 2015. 

TVNZ is also embracing New Zealand’s love of property porn with Our First Home. The show is being made by Eyeworks (which also makes The Block NZ) with the support of BNZ, Toyota and Fly Buys. And TVNZ says “the ground up approach to production partnerships will take programme integration to the next level”. 

“Their early support has opened up a lot more creative opportunities that will add value to the viewers’ experience of this show,” said Lyndsey Francis, TVNZ’s general manager of media solutions and insights. “It’s going to be fantastic to see how their involvement will come to life in and around the show, across digital and in store. BNZ, Toyota and Fly Buys are a fantastic fit for Our First Home as they share a common desire to see Kiwis realise their dreams. We think our viewers will really respond to that and it will do great things for their businesses.” 

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