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Bluey Creators Prove Yet Again To Be Masters In Collaborative Marketing: New Collab with Aussie Real Estate Agency


It was near impossible to miss the howl that rocked the world as fans of Bluey reacted to the news that the Heeler family was selling their iconic family home. It was a clever move for the creators of Bluey to leverage such a cliffhanger moment in the Series 3 episode ‘Ghost Basket.’ So what happened in the episode? And why is it worth knowing more about? Let us at Ignite Search fill you in on the highly successful marketing strategy as a whole and what’s been happening in the joint Domain/Bluey world.

Who are Bluey, do you say? Read all about them in our previous blog here about the famous Hammerbarn/Bunnings collaboration.

The Lead Up To The Collaboration

In Season 3, Episode 48, ‘Ghost Basket,’ we see the Heeler family in their familiar granny’s personas, ‘Rita’ and ‘Janet,’ playing octaganerians, dealing with a real estate agent wanting to show potential property buyers through their home on behalf of their fictional ‘son.’ As Bandit Heeler, ‘the agent,’ walks Chilli, ‘the buyer,’ through the family home, Rita and Janet play a prank on the buyer, using an upside down washing basket and crawling along the floor, the “ghost basket.”

Obviously, the buyer did not believe for one minute that the property was haunted and insisted on buying it on the spot, throwing Rita and Janet out of their home. When Rita and Janet were upset about being removed from the only home they knew, the agent (Bandit) offered to help them out just once by climbing under an overturned wheelbarrow in the garden and crawling along the back lawn.

This time the buyer (Chilli) believed that there was such a thing as a ghost wheelbarrow and ran away screaming in fear, reneging on the sale of the family home. The episode ends with Bandit telling his daughters, Bluey and Bingo, that they can’t play this game every time and that “it” has to be sold. As Bluey and Bingo reluctantly accept this reality, soft music plays as the scene zooms out to the front of the house with the very legit real estate for sale sign out the front.

As Bluey episodes go, this was a very “emotional hooking” episode for parents with young children facing a move from their first family home and the only home their children have ever known. The double whammy that hit harder was the suggestion that the beloved Heeler family home was for sale.

What Did The Bluey Creators Do Next?

In the torturous wait for the next double feature episode, ‘The Sign,’ The Bluey Creators and Domain.com.au were quick to fill the void with a strategically placed property listing on the Australian Real Estate website domain.com.au.

This listing featured everything from the layout of the home, the location, the size of the land, photos of the property and a very plucky real estate agent, Bucky Dunstan, with his phone number included. 

Making a Collaboration With Domain.com.au Work

Going all out in Social Media, making every clickable link count 

When the Heeler home listing went up, Domain.com.au was quick to post about it on their blog, while the Bluey Creators and PR team went radio silent about the sale until the next episode ‘The Sign’ dropped. Soon after, article after article about the listing appeared online on news forums and blogs around the world, with TV news reporting it in their news segments.

The engaging part of the collaboration was the fact that Agent Bucky Dunstan’s phone number on the listing was a real phone number and that you could call and leave a message after hearing the voicemail. Those in Australia and New Zealand who listened to the voicemail recording heard a familiar voice and ‘fell down a rabbit hole’ with friends trying to identify the mysterious yet familiar voice. 

With thousands of calls flooding in from around the world, it was not surprising to discover that in a matter of days, Bucky’s voice mail message box received more than 50,000 messages. Domain.com.au reported more than 700,000 views for their single Bluey property listing and 120,000 enquiries to the fictional agent Bucky Dunstan.

Soon, Instagram profiles and a Wikifandom page dedicated to real estate agent Bucky appeared on social media.

Making a Viral Video

After the listing went viral, Domain was quick to create social media content about Queensland real estate agents getting in touch with Bucky Dunstan, angry that they missed out on the “biggest” property deal of the century, and perhaps to propose working on the Heeler property deal with Bucky. The original video from Domain’s YouTube account racked up 22,000 views in total with over 200 likes in less than 2 weeks, not including their Instagram reels showing 56,000 views and almost 800 likes. Their total social media views combined racked up an impressive 300,000 views.

Revealing The Big Secret To Keep The Hype Going

Note: Bucky Dunstan, aka Rove McManus.

As the day for the release of the next episode, ‘The Sign,’ drew closer, the mystery of who Bucky Dunstan was, was revealed surreptitiously when Perth-born Australian actor Rove McManus changed his Facebook profile picture to Bucky’s profile picture from Bluey. He revealed himself to be the voice of Bucky Dunstan, the voice that had a whole nation scratching their heads over.

Both Aussie and Kiwi fans of the show were whipped into a frenzy, with the mic-drop moment being the chosen topic of conversation. There was excitement all around from nostalgic fans of Rove’s classic talk show, ‘Rove Live’ and Bluey fans everywhere, happy to see another iconic Australian celebrity feature in the lovable children’s show.

As the episode aired, fans were able to enjoy the show more, knowing that yet another beloved Australian was now part of the Bluey Universe.

So Why Did Domain Agree To A Collaboration With Bluey? 

Domain.com.au had much to gain from a collaboration with the famous Bluey show, a younger fan base of new home buyers, recognition for being a good sport and jumping on the bandwagon after Bunnings Warehouse’s highly successful Hammerbarn collaboration.

Domain’s Director of Marketing, after being contacted by the ABC’s PR team for Bluey, remarked on her decision to collaborate, “The decision to collaborate was an easy one. Bluey is an iconic and much-loved show, and we recognise the special place that Bluey has in people’s hearts and we feel really honoured to have been approached. 

“Anyone who has watched the series will know how iconic the Heeler home is. The idea also aligns with what we want to achieve at Domain, which is ‘humanising the property market’. Buying and selling a home is a deeply emotional experience for Australian families, and this storyline reflects that sentiment.”

How Did Domain.com.au Benefit?

Domain’s website received an incredible boost in traffic when the listing for the Heeler household went live. Many of those viewers were Australian locals, Domain levelled on an opportunity to expand their brand awareness, competing with the monopoly real estate competitor realestate.com.au.

As thousands viewed their website, several genuine active property buyers took the opportunity to browse actual houses for sale, not to mention those that just want a bit of a looky look. All in all, great value for Domain.com.au as their SEO improved and their rankings moved up to the top list with the new performing keyword ‘bluey house for sale’.

Reestablishing brand identity is another great thing that comes from a well executed collaboration. As Bluey is a much loved fictional world of fun and games, Domain.com.au were able to reestablish themselves as an Australian owned and run business, with the good fun and ready for a laugh core values that Australians and New Zealanders alike love.

Along with visits to their websites, thanks to the viral videos, their social media platforms increased in traffic, with more fans of the show commenting and interacting with the brand.

On top of everything, Domain.com.au received free advertising and exposure for their brand, while the creators of Bluey were given the opportunity to support yet another Australian business brand. 

And Why Should You Engage in Brand Collabs Too?

Brand collaborations can work for all sorts of businesses and services, from retail products to websites to sale promotions and even spoof marketing. 

There are a myriad of benefits to brand collaborations, including but not limited to: 

  • Increased access to a wider audience.
  • Increased brand exposure and reengagement.
  • Increases the odds of creating new partnerships and connections with bigger players in your chosen industry. 
  • Create goodwill with other established brands and loyal fans through popular interests.

Want To Engage In A Marketing Collaboration But Don’t Know Where To Start?

If there is anything we have learned from Bluey’s famous and highly successful marketing collaborations, it’s that you don’t get anywhere without giving it a fair go. Going the extra mile in your campaign and making it fun for all is a great place to start when you have the best groundwork to start with.

Let us at Ignite Search help you with planning and actioning your next marketing collaboration strategy, where you can benefit from our team’s expert knowledge and know-how in Social Media Strategy, Digital Marketing, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Content Creation.

Contact Ignite Search Today and share your idea on the next big campaign, or you can visit our blog for more insights and tips on how to develop and manage a successful marketing strategy. 

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