In a decade which has seen a rapid increase of reality television, it comes as no surprise that New Zealanders will have a new one to watch this year in the form of The Bachelor. And Michael Hill Jeweller has jumped on the romantic bandwagon and will act as broadcast sponsor in the first series of the New Zealand version.
While MediaWorks will not confirm if there are any other sponsors onboard, TV3 senior publicist Megan Stuart says the show, which will be produced by Eyeworks Television, has attracted a lot of attention so far.
“It’s fair to say that it has been a show that has attracted a lot of interest and we are really thrilled to have a sponsor of the calibre of Michael Hill and there will be other announcements to come. It’s a nice fit for us and Michael Hill have been around for a long time. Most New Zealanders have had a bit of Michael Hill Jeweller in their life at some stage, celebrating love or friendship.”
Sticking to the model which has successfully lured audiences in 30 other countries, The Bachelor will follow a group of Kiwi bachelorettes who will try to win a man’s heart after a series of dates with one girl being eliminated each episode, until the group of girls are whittled down to just one.
The show will run on TV3 for the first half of this year and will make use of the company’s different media platforms.
“The series will encompass TV, radio and interactive elements,” Stuart says. And, as part of that, the first contestant has been announced after Lisa, a 29-year-old from Auckland, won the More FM wildcard competition.
The union between the jeweller and a series like The Bachelor seems to make sense given the romantic nature of the show and the jeweller’s previous success with the Canadian version of the show.
Michael Hill Jeweller’s media director Jamie McDougall says the company is excited to be involved.
“As major sponsor to The Bachelor Canada, we were the exclusive jeweller last season and prior to that we had a smaller participation in the programme. In both cases we had fantastic success with the partnership and was well received by our customers that commented while in store. We plan to be more than just a sponsor, we want to be a partner with TV3 and promote their programme on every media channel available to us. It’s one thing to give up money to be a sponsor, it’s another to become a business partner with the network to achieve the best outcome for Michael Hill and the programme.”
According to Business Desk, Michael Hill International lifted its first-half sales by 3.9 percent. Its Canadian segment “continued to experience solid growth” and the US “achieved strong growth. However, Australia continued to be a difficult market.”
Chief executive Nick Garrett said at the time that it would be a very big piece of business for the agency over the next few years because “their expansion plans are huge” (store numbers have increased from 120 to 240 in the past decade and it plans to increase that to 1000 in the following decade).