Following our story on Fisher & Paykel appearing in The Block, the famous New Zealand laundry and kitchen appliance specialist reached out with some feedback on this inclusion. Obviously, the brand is delighted:

“This sort of positive exposure is an absolute victory for us as far as we are concerned,” said F&P marketing manager Kara May.

“While the judges were critical of the lighting in Brad and Dale’s kitchen, we were impressed with how they’ve used the Fisher & Paykel appliances so effectively, including placing a DishDrawer in a butler’s pantry with a cleaning area hidden from view.”

During 2013, Fisher & Paykel introduced the concept of a ‘distributed kitchen’. The system was first discussed by former F&P marketing manager Peter Russell in these pages. The idea is that Fisher & Paykel offers users much appliance placement flexibility because it is only brand purposefully marketing various styles of underbench dishwashers (‘DishDrawers’) and refrigerators (‘CoolDrawers’). Russell said at the time that a Distributed Kitchen “allows consumers the freedom to design their kitchen around the way they live”.

May, who took over from Russell in late 2013, said Brad and Dale’s kitchen, “showed the audience how  our appliances are the only ones specifically designed to match, with consistency across all design touchpoints, such as handles, finishes and added details such as a sleek stainless steel strip, which looked stunning in the kitchen the boys created”.

The Good Guys Block-ing out the competition with Kitchens initiative, social media and 2014 trends
(Monday 10 March 2013)

Selling appliances and kitchens together as a complete package is clearly a growth area, based on the successful launch of The Good Guys Kitchens as part of the Melbourne based retailer’s sponsorship of Channel Nine’s The Block.

The new venture sees The Good Guys’ team of expert designers visiting customers to specify and recommend new cabinetry and appliances. In a nice touch, The Good Guys’ website introduces the designers: there’s Thomas and Zachary in New South Wales; Alex and Keith in Queensland; and Elena and Nicole in Victoria.

The company is pumping this service very hard during its advertising of The Block, which is rating through the roof, topping the nightly charts with more than 1.5 million viewers.

Joining The Good Guys for some seriously good DIY exposure is Smeg, which is furnishing The Block with product to use, enjoy and promote.

The Italian company, which is definitely a darling of the design and architecture set, recently celebrated the launch of its new compact range. Available in both the Linear and Classic styles, this range of 60-centimetre wide, 45-centimetre high appliances includes a microwave oven and grill, convection/microwave, steam oven, combi steam/convection and a built-in coffee machine.

The Good Guys is setting a great example for other retailers to follow with its integrated social media campaign built around this sponsorship. Another brand gaining great exposure is Fisher & Paykel. After contestants Brad and Dale revealed a new Fisher & Paykel laundry on a recent episode, the The Good Guys social media team immediately jumped into action,  tweeting a link so viewers at home can immediately learn more. This practice takes advantage of the ‘dual-screening’ phenomenon: that’s when a TV viewer at home also has their iPad or PC up and running so they can follow the social media reaction in real time.

Click on that link and the viewer is taken to a dedicated page on The Good Guys website, complete with appliance imagery, buying guides and other products that might be appealing:

F&P on The Good Guys
F&P on The Good Guys website.

This level of active engagement around its sponsorship has been well-received by fans of the show. Tweets sent by The Good Guys promoting the various appliance makeovers receive multiple retweets and favouriting, giving an increase to the reach and exposure to the TV show proper. Because a lot of viewers, especially younger audiences, tend to catch-up or chase TV, many of them never actually see traditional TVCs placed in a commercial break. By integrating the advertising into the programming, this boosts the value of the sponsorship.

Compare this to Harvey Norman, which is a broadcasting partner of SBS’s coverage of the A-League competition. Since the 2013-14 A-League season commenced on 11 October 2013, Harvey Norman’s official Twitter account has not posted a single tweet about the A-League or association football (soccer) in general. The closest Harvey Norman has come to social media integration around this partnership is to post seven retweets on its stream, the most recent on 30 January 2014. To put this in perspective, The Good Guys posted seven The Block-specific tweets over a 35 minute period while the show aired on Sunday 9 March 2014.

Meanwhile, The Good Guys has revealed its kitchen design trends for 2014. In colours, the retailer is backing white and monochrome to make inroads in kitchens, while”grey is the new neutral”, according to their kitchen experts. As previously discussed at Appliance Retailer, the artistically minded have long marveled at the aesthetic appeal of curves, and with curvaceous smartphones and OLED TVs currently on shelves, it is unsurprising that The Good Guys expects to see more of this in the kitchen:

“Kitchen designs are showing more of a penchant for curved edges, with softened corners and rounded appliances set to be back on trend,” the retailer said. “Curves help spaces to appear more contemporary and even futuristic in some instances, providing a 21st-century appeal.

“From curved benchtops to circular islands, kitchens with curves can make cooking an almost theatrical event.”

Another trend expected at The Good Guys is compact appliances. Last week we looked at Smeg’s exploits in this growing field, which recognises how valuable kitchen space can be in smaller kitchens — especially with more and more Australians opting for apartment living — and tailors the size of the appliance to suit, without compromising on performance.

Finally, The Good Guys predict that more new homeowners and renovators will elect to integrate their new appliances.

“Cluttered benchtops could be a thing of the past, with more people opting for integrated appliances. Seamlessly fitted into worktops and cabinetry, these models give your cooking areas the sleek, sophisticated feel of a show kitchen.”