Cooking with gas – Genesis powers My Kitchen Rules NZ

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Capitalising on My Kitchen Rules’ ratings success on TV2, TVNZ has been cooking up a promotional campaign of “epic portions” to launch the first local season of My Kitchen Rules on TV ONE later this month.

Hosted by chefs Ben Bayly and Gareth Stewart, MKR NZ will follow teams of two as they compete against the clock to deliver knockout meals and win a $100,000 purse.

It will aire on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights at 7.30pm on TV ONE from this Sunday (24 August).

“MKR NZ will continue Kiwis’ love affair with the My Kitchen Rules format serving up big characters, new local judges and mouth-watering food,” says TVNZ media solutions and insights general manager Lyndsey Francis.

“We are delighted to have on board broadcast partner Genesis Energy to power the show, along with our good friends Countdown, Jetstar, Stevens, SKY CITY, Fonterra and Holden. All our partners are playing an important role in helping to shape this fantastic format into a local story.”

The original Australian version currently reigns as 2014’s most popular series for AP18-49 (TV2’s target audience) and AP25-54 (TV ONE’s demo). Each episode attracts half a million viewers on average (AP5+), and it’s one of TVNZ Ondemand’s most popular shows with almost a million streams recorded this year alone.

“Kiwis love MKR Australia and that gives us a huge head start. It’s a fantastic lead in to MKR NZ and we’re going all out to emulate that success,” says Francis.

TVNZ in-house creative team Blacksand is leading the campaign effort. It’s behind a major on air and off air push that includes TVCs, billboards and print ads, as well as digital activations to drive viewer engagement across screens.

“We’re rolling out a fun campaign that doesn’t take itself too seriously and focuses on the show’s colourful characters.  We’ve already had a fantastic response to our curtain-raising promos – one shows Manu passing on the torch to Gareth and Ben, and the latest introduces our contestants, who have all been christened in typical MKR fashion.”

Entering the MKR NZ kitchen are the Bogan Besties, Christchurch Cuties, Polynesian Cooks, Corporate Dads, Modern Day Hippies, Social Media Buddies, Newlyweds, Beauty & the Beast, Fireman & his Flame and the Hawkes Bay Sisters.

Says Francis: “The show’s massive appeal crosses over from TV to online. That offers our production partners a fantastic range of programme integration and viewer engagement possibilities to showcase their products and services. It’s a close collaboration. Within the show, partners will feature in cooking challenges – and outside and around the show, they’ll be part of our digital activity and they’ll have their own MKR NZ themed communications.”

Viewers will be able to vote along live with an updated version of the show app that works across all smart devices and computers – a year of free energy from Genesis and $5000 worth of groceries from Countdown are available to be won. More than 42,000 unique users have cast 230,000+ votes during the current Australian season, with average session times clocking in at 12 minutes.

Partners will have a strong presence on the show’s website, home to ondemand episodes, behind the scenes video content, show news, contestant profiles, recipes and competitions. Once the Australian season wraps up in a week’s time, TVNZ’s MKR Facebook page, with its 75,000 strong following, will be devoted to the local series.

A media tie-in with The Radio Network will give ZM and The Hits listeners a chance to get closer to the contestants with specially created content and MKR NZ themed competitions and show spots. iHeartRadio is involved, presenting the contestants’ personal playlists during the instant restaurant rounds.

Headlining sponsor Genesis Energy is planning an extensive cross channel marketing campaign off the back of the show, says the company’s general marketing manager, Chris Watney.

“As New Zealand’s largest retailer of electricity and gas, Genesis Energy is a natural partner for MKR NZ. We are the main ingredient in more than one in four Kiwi kitchens; powering the preparation of hundreds of thousands of meals every day. MKR NZ will be a key element of our customer communications plan across the next few months, one that we are leveraging fully across all channels from above the line into staff engagement. The Genesis Energy team throughout New Zealand is excited about being part of something that is fresh and innovative within our category,” he says.

MKR NZ is based on the Seven Network Australia format My Kitchen Rules licensed by Endemol Worldwide Distribution. The local version is produced by Imagination Entertainment.


Campaign credits

Marketing Manager: Chris Hooper
Brand Manager: Gary Mulholland
Creative Director: Greg Hughes
Campaign Producers: Morag Lavich & Lindsay Gough
Director: Drew Pollock
Art Direction: Fraser Tebbutt & Nick Delaney
Senior Digital Producer: Amie Mills
Digital Producer: Samantha Taylor

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