Australian online home improvement marketplace hipages is making a big bet on TV – signing on as a major sponsor of season 15 of The Block, which will begin airing in August.

The Block is a popular reality television series broadcast on the Nine Network. The series follows four or five couples as they compete against each other to renovate and restyle properties and sell them at auction for the highest price.

While sponsoring a television programme is not a new marketing move, it is uncharted waters for the 15-year old brand that has built its business almost exclusively on search advertising.

In Australia, households spend A$73bn a year on tradespeople – or “tradies”, as they’re referred to locally – which equates to about 5% of the country’s 2018 GDP, larger than its agricultural or iron exports. About 70 million paid residential jobs were completed by tradies in the past year, according to hipages.

Established in 2004, the platform lays claim to a leadership position in the market, with an average of 100,000 jobs posted every month and 2.6 million users nationwide.