Suzuki ‘The Block’ TV Tie-In Led By In-Show Integration

One of the more interesting contemporary TV tie-ins is Suzuki’s sponsorship of top rated Australian reality TV show The Block – a partnership that focuses on in-programme integration and which sees the brand’s vehicles front and centre of the show.


The most recent activation of the car brand’s partnership with the Channel 9 show came during its ‘The Block: Sky High‘ 10-week series which saw five couples compete over the renovation of a rundown Melbourne hotel. During the show not only helped the couples with their renovation, but also fronted a Suzuki an in-show vehicle challenge and ended with the commercial partner using contestants as brand ambassadors.


Perhaps the highpoint of the 2013 activation strategy came with ‘The Block All Stars’ première episode which featured a quartet of all star renovators who were introduced to the ‘Suzuki Art Car Challenge’ in Sydney’s Bondi.


The show, which typically sees couples compete on renovation projects, tweaked its format by giving contestants white Suzuki Swift vehicles as blank canvasses and, with the help of a Sydney custom shop, they were tasked to customise their own vehicle and draw on inspiration from various sources to create their own classic swift.


Suzuki then launched a parallel Facebook-led, list gathering initiative built around a ‘car giveaway competition’ which saw consumers compete for the chance to win one of the Suzuki Swift Art Cars from The Block All Stars.


While the entire Suzuki range will feature throughout the show, including some surprises for participants and fans alike, one key focus of the latest All Stars series sees Suzuki promote both the Swift and its new Grand Vitara Navigator.


The in-programme car integration focuses on communicating both awareness and on the brand personality.


The series featured programme host Scotty Cam make his on screen appearance riding a Suzuki Boulevard M109R motorbike, while other in programme elements from The Block episodes have featured particular dealer locations.


The TV show partnership also sees Suzuki seamlessly integrated into the show’s online platforms- with the car brand featuring in The Block All Star’s iPad app where viewers are able to access information about the show and the Suzuki range.


According to the car brand, 60% of the show’s viewers are simultaneously on their mobile or tablet while watching The Block All Stars and the brand’s app presence generates what it describes as ‘significant spikes in web traffic’ to its site when Suzuki cars were part of the weekly challenge.


To further reinforce the activation package, Suzuki also advertises in the breaks within and around the show as a means of support.


This segment of the campaign sees the brand particularly focus on tell consumers ‘the price story’ – something that it is unable to do through its in-show integration.


Further activation included press ads, website specials, car wraps and TV commercials, plus additional video promotions featuring stars of The Block



Suzuki also backed up the programme promotion with a dealer sale – itself fronted by a major ad campaign featuring reigning The Block champions Brad and Lara.


They will be the stars of four television commercials highlighting the features of Alto, Grand Vitara Navigator, Swift and SX4.


These TV spots following in the footsteps of previous ads leveraging the brand’s show sponsorship.





The brand itself certainly feels its The Block partnership has been a major marketing success.


Indeed, Suzuki Australia even launched limited edition ‘the Block’ versions of its Swift Sport and Grand Vitara models on the back of the show’s popularity.


Suzuki’s Australian marketing head Andrew Moore says that the brand’s sponsorship of The Block provided twice the value of an equivalent TV ad buy.


Suzuki benefited from a threefold web traffic increase during broadcasts of episodes of The Block driven by the car marquee’s sponsorship activation and its integration into the Channel Nine hit program.


Moore says Suzuki Australia normally receives an average of 300 site visits per night-time hour, but during an episode of The Block it gets more than 1,000 hits.


Perhaps more importantly, Suzuki tracking shows that regular The Block viewers rate certain Suzuki brand attributes such as ‘stylish’ and ‘innovative’ 150% higher than non-watchers.


Little wonder that programme sponsorship is a key part of the brand’s marketing mix and other Suzuki Australia TV show sponsorships include Grand Designs Australia and Selling Houses Australia on Foxtel.




Suzuki’s The Block  Art Car Challenge Website



The Block Website



Suzuki Facebook Australia




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