General
Been around The Block

As part of a long-standing partnership with MediaWorks, Mazda NZ recently supplied five BT-50 double cab Utilities for use on the inaugural NZ series of “The Block” produced by TV3 and Eyeworks Television.
With the last episode broadcast on September 5, The Block was unique in that it was the only reality-style television series where not one single person knew the outcome of the competition until the final night.
It was only when the four properties renovated by the contestant couples were auctioned off that siblings Ben and Libby Crawford emerged the winners with their property selling for the highest amount over reserve.
Making such television programmes requires a large commercial investment, and Mazda NZ was supportive of the The Block concept, because DIY home renovations are a common cultural thread among New Zealand consumers.  
Three Mazda BT-50 GSX automatics and one BT-50 GSX manual model were supplied to the four competing couples. Host Mark Richardson found himself in a digitally wrapped BT-50 Limited with some factory options fitted during the 10-week production schedule.
According to Mazda New Zealand national sales and marketing manager Glenn Harris, all contestants and host Mark Richardson said they were genuinely impressed with how easy the vehicles were to use.
“One contestant said it would be very hard to go back to using his old work truck, after his experience behind the wheel of the BT-50 he was supplied with,” says Glenn.
“Two other couples have also indicated to us that they wanted the option to buy their BT-50 trucks at the end of the competition.”
He says The Block offered a perfect environment and platform to showcase the features and benefits and flexibility delivered by the Mazda BT-50 to a wider audience.
“It was an opportunity to place the Mazda BT-50 in a very natural, believable context and show the vehicle’s capability in a completely authentic and unscripted fashion,” he said.
“We didn’t give any instructions or dictate any terms to the production crew on how the vehicle was to be used on camera. We just simply wanted the contestant couples and host to use the BT-50 vehicles as they would in normal everyday life.    
“The BT-50 not only needs to do everything demanded of a ute, it also needs to have the technology and convenience demanded by everyday drivers. During the filming of ‘The Block’ this was shown by the contestants using the standard-fitment hands-free Bluetooth connectivity, and the independent power outlets used to power a number of in-car production  components.   
“Through The Block NZ, the BT-50 has reaffirmed how far utility vehicles have come in fulfilling the needs of contemporary New Zealand users; evolving to become the new multipurpose lifestyle vehicle. They are no longer just utilitarian vehicles for the trades.”

Publishing Information
Page Number:
10
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