Aldi taps into challenger thinking for unconventional Block integration

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 8 September 2015

Coles has Masterchef and Woolworths has Recipe to Riches, but for Aldi's first TV partnership, it has bypassed foodie shows, and is instead partnering with Nine Network's The Block.

The supermarket brand has tapped into its challenger roots for its premiere Australian television integration, and will work with The Block to “fuel” the renovation show, with its range of grocery items, and weekly 'Special Buys'.

CEO of Aldi's media agency Maxus, Mark McCraith, said the unusual partnership ties into Aldi's voice as a brand.

“Like Maxus, Aldi is a challenger brand,” McCraith said. “We're both used to seeking out disruptive, unconventional ideas and approaches. The partnership with the Block is a perfect example of Aldi's ability to embrace new thinking.”

As part of the arrangement, Aldi will quite literally feed the show's contestants, who, in previous series, have lived predominately on takeaway meals, with access to a personal pantry and on-site supplies.

In addition, contestants will have access to Aldi's 'Special Buys' to decorate their apartments which Aldi advertising and PR director Sam Viney said will come in handy given the tight budgets contestants have to work with.

“Aldi is helping the Blockheads to make smart choices on a budget, much like everyday Aldi customers,” Viney said.

In addition, as part of a multi-layered product integration, the brand will give away $30,000 in a viewer's choice competition.

The integration comes as the supermarket wars begin to heat up, and supermarkets look at new, more engaging ways to push band propositions to consumers.

Coles has made several partnerships over the last couple of years with MasterChef and My Kitchen Rules. Meanwhile Woolworths signed on with Channel Ten to release its joint venture program, Recipe to Riches.

Maxus head of innovation and partnerships Shivani Maharaj, who worked alongside the producers of The Block, said he worked to ensure it was a truly multi-layered approach.

“We have worked with Aldi and The Block to really get into the DNA of the show,” Maharaj said.

“We're not simply slapping an Aldi logo on the program – the brand is truly 'fuelling' The Block.”

In addition, The Block executive producer Julian Cress called the integration with Aldi one of the most “seamless” integrations ever included on the show.

“The best partnerships are always ones where the products are really useful for the contestants and Aldi was immediately embraced by the contestants on this series, not only for the groceries but the ski gear came in handy during what proved to be Melbourne’s coldest winter in living memory. Some teams were even able to furnish their rooms with products from Aldi.”

The Block returned to Nine Sunday 6 September, reaching 1.074 million viewers on debut, according to preliminary, overnight OzTam figures. For last night's second episode, the show was the sixth most watched show of the evening with 932,000 viewers.

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