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.

Speaking at Advertising Week APAC, a conference held in Sydney, Australia, hipages chief customer officer Stuart Tucker noted that growth of the business to date has been driven by paid search.

“There's a lot of search activity going on in this category but what that really meant is that we were driving performance, but we didn't get the balance right,” he said. “We had an inconsistent approach to brand building activity. In fact, we had never consistently invested in our brand.”

This resulted in only one in four Australians having heard of hipages when prompted – only 27% aided awareness. This led to the company’s first foray into TV advertising to build its brand, with its ‘Change the way you tradie’ campaign launching in August 2018. (For more read WARC’s Australia’s hipages goes all in on TV to boost brand.)

The company enjoyed lasting results from the effort:
  • Increased aided awareness from 27% to 37%, a figure which held for six months post-campaign.
  • Increased brand consideration, up from 17% to 24%, which also held for six months.
“That’s a big deal for us and that changes things,” said Tucker. “We drove new customers and reinvigorated existing ones who may have lapsed and increased the LTV because every customer we get on mobile is double the LTV of those that come in via desktop. This starts to change the dynamics of our business which a great result.”

Sourced from WARC