The States BBQ series, sponsored by home loan lender ME, is a six-part series written by Domain with direction by Damien Cassar.
The six episodes focus on the current challenges in the property market, including house prices, commuting, proximity, first homes, dream homes and investing.
Each of the short, comic episodes aims to entertain and educate consumers on the common themes and questions that people ask when buying a house, and builds awareness of ME’s brand.
The series features comic actors Katie Burch, Mark Samual Bonanno, Greta Lee Jackson, Luke Heggie, Mark Humphries and Anthony Gooley, among others.
In the first episode, Katie Burch, playing a Sydneysider, jokes: “Do you really think I could afford this place and enough food for four people?” before revealing that she took out a second mortgage to do so.
She notes that she got her house at a “steal” for “just over a million [dollars]”, adding that the two-bedroom house with “one-and-half bathrooms” was just three suburbs over from harbour views.
The other friends reveal how much they paid for their houses, ranging from just under $500,000 (Adelaide), $350,000 (Hobart), and under $600,000 (Brisbane), while the Melbournian (Mark Samual Bonanno), says he "paid a little less" than the Sydneysider, but jokes that "he doesn’t have harbour views".
Lastly, the Perth-based friend (Luke Heggie), says he "doesn’t want to talk about it", while a graphic highlights that median house prices there have declined by 2.3 per cent.
A spokesperson for the ME told Mortgage Business: “Our partnership with Domain is part of our home loan marketing strategy, using engaging content to further build awareness and consideration of ME. ME is a fast-growing bank, and we continue to invest in brand activities.
“The approach is new for ME but reflects our persona, which is to be relevant, direct and compelling – hence the use of video, social media and subjects that’re topical and relevant to Australians today.”
Touching on the first episode, which deals with house prices, the spokesperson said: “House prices and housing affordability are one of the main issues facing home buyers trying to get onto the property ladder, so it’s something we talk about with customers and within the industry.”
He added: “We’ve been using brokers for about six years now, but the channel has quickly become a significant source of customers. More than half our target market use brokers because they trust them and believe brokers help them get the most suitable loan at the best price.”
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Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.