Duke marks one year with live branded sport event

When TVNZ launched Duke last year, it was championed as a way of reaching hard to get audiences and acting as an experiment lab for new forms of content. And its first birthday celebration is set to champion those strengths with a live primetime TV sports event that will see two friends battle it out for Fresh-Up.

Fresh-Up’s Chad vs Larry will see two Taranaki best mates and rivals Chad Smith and Larry Taylor put their friendship on the line in three challenges including a mechanical bull ride, couch pull strongman and a hot curry. On offer is a $15,000 prize purse.

It will all be screened live on TVNZ Duke on March 28 at 8.30pm to an audience drawn from a promotional push by Colenso BBDO across TV, radio, outdoor and social.

“In front of an amped up audience, we’re putting out a live show with rank amateurs competing to out-do each other in increasingly off the wall sporting challenges. Anything could happen,” says TVNZ general manager of content solutions Lyndsey Francis.

Their activities will be presented by 1 News sports presenter Andrew Saville with play-by-play commentary provided from DUKE’s Short & Wide team. Colenso BBDO says Saville will add maturity and professionalism to the night while the Short and Wide team will no doubt bring the opposite.

Executive creative director Steve Cochran says it’s treating the live televised event as a 45-minute brand spot, albeit with commercial breaks. It promises to have all the lavish production of a major professional sporting event or title fight in a packed Q Theatre and will be covered by TVNZ’s outside broadcast unit with six cameras and a live TV director.

Fresh-up, Colenso BBDO and OMD put out a call for contenders back in November and Frucor marketing director Craig Irwin says it had a lot of great entries but Smith and Taylor stood out.

“Two great mates, two fierce rivals, a tradie versus a doctor, who were already in the habit of videoing their rivalry, I don’t think we could have hoped for a more perfect combination,” he says.

For anyone who wants a preview of the pair’s interaction, their journey has been charted by TVNZ Blacksand and Colenso in a series of videos and ad spots shared across multiple platforms.

Fresh-Up’s Chad vs Larry is in keeping with the channel’s non-conformist pedigree, which will also be added to further with a new youth-focused panel show called Banter, set to launch in the coming months.

Duke programmer Edward Kindred describes it as a punchy live debate and discussion, which will be helmed by a regular host and a revolving panel of contributors drawn from the world of comedy, politics and media.

“Duke’s always been one for pushing the boundaries and this show will be in keeping with its unconventional approach,” he says, adding the year ahead will see the channel experiment with more local content.

Duke has become New Zealand’s fastest growing new channel for reaching males aged 18-39 since its March 2016 launch, with a 34,000 average daily reach in its target demographic. And 57 percent of the channel’s audience is male compared to the 41 percent total TV profile.


Commercial Production Company: TVNZ Blacksand
Broadcast Production: NZ Live
Media Agency: OMD
Broadcast Partner: TVNZ
Client: Frucor Beverages Ltd
Agency: Colenso BBDO

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