TVNZ launches reality dating programme by playing cupid with a pair of guinea pigs

First Dates New Zealand will be hitting the screen tonight and to celebrate, TVNZ has called in the help of two guinea pigs who hope to find love of their own.

First Dates is a reality dating show that has already found success in the UK and Australia. It sees a pair of strangers meet for dinner at a restaurant where all the staff are in on the date and hidden cameras reveal all that goes on.

As a promotion of New Zealand’s inaugural season, TVNZ has replicated the programme with pair of guinea pigs, Holly and Luke, in a series of videos that will run alongside First Dates New Zealand.

The furry pair may already be familiar to viewers, as they are seen in the programme’s promotional videos commentating on clips of the dates, however, they also have a romance story of their own – or so we hope.

Holly and Luke have also been on a date, at a guinea pig appropriate restaurant, and their journey can be followed in the videos – the first of which has already been shared on YouTube.

Holly and Luke’s journey will also air Monday to Friday at 4.55pm on TVNZ 2 and TVNZ Duke around 5.30pm. It can also be streamed on TVNZ OnDemand, TVNZ 2’s Facebook and Instagram, and seen in paid display advertising.

Over the course of the episodes, viewers will be able to watch Holly and Luke reveal their first impressions of each other and see how the first date goes.

The promo is the work of TVNZ digital creative director Amie Mills and the team, while senior publicist Kate Simmonds and executive creative director Jens Hertzum helped out with the voices.

According to TVNZ, the purpose of the campaign is to attract a younger demographic to watch the show, and to encourage viewers to tune back in each week.

Holly’s character profile describes her as:

•Outwardly gregarious
•Inwardly sensitive
•Music publicist
•Obsessed with vinyl
•Has traveled all over the world
•Loves to give to causes she cares about
•Big on hamster-wheel-body-core workouts
•Looking for a man who will make her laugh
•Has a secret tattoo on the underside of her paw

Luke’s character profile describes him as:

 •Heart broken by his ex-girlfriend
•Has three sisters
•Finds it hard to trust others
•Doesn’t trust Uber
•Spends a lot of time on Reddit
•Composes ad jingles for a living
•Favourite game is Angry Birds
•Makes a mean carrot soufflé
•Wants to meet someone he can settle down with 

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