‘Hunted has strategy and gameplay like Survivor,’ says Paramount ANZ’s partnership director

Network 10 is launching a new real-life crime show, Hunted, produced by Endemol Shine Australia, so Mumbrella's Emma Shepherd speaks with the EP and Paramount ANZ’s partnership director to see what Australians can expect from the series, and what commercial value this new format will bring advertisers.

Paramount ANZ’s partnership director, Effect, Tamar Hovagimian tells Mumbrella there can be a bit of hesitancy with brands getting involved with new or untried formats, particularly one as unique as Hunted – Network 10’s new real-life crime show, produced by Endemol Shine Australia.

“Saying this, though, there is something really special about partnering with a program in its first season – creatively, you have a blank canvas to work with and can stand out with first-in-market initiatives, and when the show is a success you are part of that original legacy,” Hovagimian said.

In this real-life game of cat and mouse, 18 ordinary Australians will go on the run from a team of expert Hunters. As paranoia sets in, Fugitives must go to great lengths to evade capture for 21 days. Where will they hide? Who can they trust?

Flying under the radar to avoid detection from the Hunters is no easy feat, with some of the country’s top experts working to track their every move.

As the Fugitives criss-cross the state of Victoria, the Hunters’ net will tighten around them. Those who manage to outsmart the Hunters and make it to a final Extraction Point will win a share of the $100,000 prize money.

Speaking to Mumbrella, Endemol Shine director of content, Marty Benson says, “It’s the most exciting content I have ever produced in my 25 years in the industry.”

Hovagimian describes the commercial value this new format will bring advertisers.

“This show presents a really exciting opportunity for brands to be brave with the way they think about content and how they can integrate it –  we can have a lot of fun with it!” says Hovagimian.

When discussing in-show integration and TV and digital sponsorship, she notes: “Innovation and creativity are at the forefront of everything we do. The Effect team works very closely with Imagine, our creative unit, to develop ideas that support clients’ key objectives. We have a solid digital proposition across 10 Play and our social channels where brands can be more creative than ever in a premium digital environment.”

As for how well the new format will stand up against other tentpole programs, Hovagimian admits: “The program launches on 17 July, and our marketing, publicity, and promo teams have done a brilliant job to create awareness and help launch the program so far, they’re doing things they’ve never done before which has been really fun to see!”

“I find Hunted addictive. It has strategy and gameplay like Survivor, but it’s also really insightful watching how the elite group of Hunters think and operate.

“It’s also a lot of fun because it is ultimately a game, you’re learning and discovering so much along the way so it feels very different from any other reality format.”

She adds despite the network always aiming to attract a younger audience, this show should attract the masses and all ages.

“As you know Network 10 attracts a younger audience, predominantly under 50s, but broadly speaking, Hunted loans itself to a lean-in audience who are curious and seeking something new and different!” she says.

Benson notes: “I’m hoping this show will attract all ages. I want families to sit down and watch it. But, I do know that crime is big in Australia in the 18-25s demos. Crime is huge, especially in the podcast world, so hopefully will come to it for its launch and they will realise how exciting it is. Our biggest challenge was to make it authentic.

“To do that, it has to be authentic. No producers are controlling this. We’ve got an ex-Victoria Police commissioner, saying yes or no to requests that come from HQ. If they want CCTV footage, they have to send a request into the control room and the commissioner has to approve or decline the request.”

Filmed entirely in Victoria, CEO of production partner Visit Victoria, Brendan McClements, says: “We’re all about doing things differently at Visit Victoria, so as soon as we heard the premise of this exciting new format, we wanted to be part of it – to support the state through its recovery and encourage Australians to return.

“This gripping series provides access-all-areas to both sides of the pursuit that plays out like a real-life thriller.”

Hunted will premiere on Sunday, 17 July at 7.30pm on 10 And 10 Play.


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