The Power of Representation

Ownership is a powerful emotion in marketing. If consumers feel some ownership over a product then they are more likely to engage. Well, this concept was taken to a whole new level this week with the House Rules grand final being battled out between teams from Western Australia and Victoria.

Adam & Lisa (VIC) take on Carole & Russell (WA) in the House Rules Grand Final

Adam & Lisa (VIC) take on Carole & Russell (WA) in the House Rules Grand Final

This kind of ownership is a powerful factor when it comes to sports marketing. Whichever AFL team, Soccer club or Tennis player you support, there is a level of ownership over the product. This high investment of turning up to the matches every week (and buying the badges, footy jerseys, scarfs etc.) comes from a special relationship in which the team is representing the individual audience member.

Well, someone in Victoria is using this same understanding to rally support behind our Victorian representatives Adam & Lisa.

DSC_0002At Richmond station over the weekend (and probably during the previous weekdays as well), the various screens which provide helpful information to disoriented travellers regarding departure times and stops were alternating with some other information:

Metro House Rules Vote for Adam & Lisa. SMS Vic to 1977 7277. Call costs $0.55 or visit for all voting details

Relying on rail consumers’ love of Victoria and knowledge of House Rules, the screens were trying to rally our support behind our local representatives.

This television show is not the first to attempt state-wide pride with My Kitchen Rules often introducing each state to its representatives in advance of the show commencing and Masterchef creating Victorian-targeted advertisements when several Victorian contestants were at risk of being eliminated.

We certainly feel strong ownership over our sporting teams. Victorians have a strong ownership over AFL. New South Wales and Queensland come at each other during the State of Origin. But does this loyalty extend as far as reality television contestants?

I know that I’m definitely behind Adam & Lisa for tonight’s Grand Final. I was already behind them going into the episode, but the Victorian connection does add an extra level of representation to my relationship with this phenomenal house renovating team.

However, there is one more interesting question that I would like answered. Who is behind this advertising? Is it Metro? Is it the government-owned Public Transport Victoria? And what are they hoping to get out of Adam & Lisa winning House Rules?

Just one last thing . . . Go Adam & Lisa!