Press release

Robbie the Dog Becomes Star of Local TV Ad after owner ‘Makes it Happen’

, 14 December 2017

When peer-to-peer marketplace Harmoney decided to create a completely user-generated advertising and marketing campaign, it turned the mic to its borrowers.

Since launching in 2014, Harmoney has helped more than 30,000 Kiwis to ‘make it happen’, so the campaign is a natural culmination of the various real-life stories of those that use the platform to borrow money.

Harmoney’s Making It Happen campaign encourages Lenders and Borrowers to send in videos, photos and stories so fellow New Zealanders can see what they have achieved by using the platform. The campaign aims to shed light on how a loan can change a life, or make life that bit better by just making it happen.

Ed Bell, head of marketing at Harmoney says, “It might be a family holiday, it might be a fresh coat of paint on the house, it might be starting that business that you think about every day…Everyone has an it and we wanted to create a positive campaign where people can share their tips, tools and advice on how they make it happen.

“Hearing from experts is great and very helpful, but sometimes we just want to hear from our fellow Kiwis or someone who has rolled up their sleeves and done it themselves – so, we turned the mic around and asked our customers to tell us what their it was.

“We also made use of other crowdsourcing platforms to find our unique soundtrack for Making It Happen. We uploaded a brief and had some interesting responses ranging from a heavy metal musician, to an entertaining rap. But what really struck a chord with the team was an upbeat track about making it happen together, which suited the positive ‘can do’ vibe of the Make It Happen campaign.

 “One of the personal stories that we received from a borrower became an instant hit with our team, and we knew that Robbie had to be a star of one of our TV ads for this campaign.”

Robbie, an eleven-year-old Border Collie was out for his birthday walk at his local beach when he had an accident and badly injured his spine four years ago. With a 50% chance of losing the use of his back legs, Robbie underwent intensive surgery and, sadly, the odds were not in his favour – he is now permanently disabled and incontinent.

Robbie’s owner Tracy says, “After the bad news, we took him home and just said, ‘What do we do now?’ The vet said most people in this instance would choose to have the dog put to sleep, but I couldn’t bring myself to do that. It was very hard to care for Robbie as a disabled dog initially, and seeing him struggle was heart-breaking.

“We had a few different opinions and thought about possibly importing a wheelchair for him, but we were told that only one other person in New Zealand had done this, and they still decided to put the dog down.

“I looked into every option – a wheelchair was very expensive and we would have to save our pennies, but we knew it was the best option. Wanting to improve his quality of life now, I had heard about Harmoney, so I went on the website, applied for the loan and we chose Robbie’s new wheels. The adjustment was difficult at first but he can get around on his own at home and we use his wheels for walks. He still loves to chase his tennis ball on the beach and at the local park.

“We were so chuffed that our video of Robbie with his new wheels was chosen for the ad campaign! Since he’s become famous, we’re thinking of starting his own YouTube channel. The only problem is now we can’t take him anywhere quickly because everyone is so interested in hearing his story, and we have to make sure he looks good because every outing is a photo opportunity, plus some people have recognised him from the TV advert.

“The experience was great and my husband and I are now thinking of investing in the platform in the near future.”

Fellow borrowers can submit their stories, videos and photos to Harmoney for possible inclusion in the Harmoney newsletter and to be featured on the website. Everyone who submits an entry will go in the draw to win one of five $100 vouchers (see T&Cs here). More ‘Making It Happen’ stories can be found here.

About Harmoney

Harmoney Limited was founded by a management group that has worked together across two other key projects over the last 12 years in New Zealand and Australia. In both cases there was a successful exit for shareholders.

The team was responsible for creating over $1b in shareholder value by adding new products, distribution and channels.

Harmoney will Liberate Lending in New Zealand, cutting out the banks by providing access to a new investment asset class to retail and institutional investors.

New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to overhaul securities law and to allow for peer top peer lending platforms which can act as a challenge to traditional banking.

The service providers are regulated, licensed and policed by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA). Peer to Peer Platforms operate with benchmark operational costs far lower than any main street bank.

The investor/lender takes the same risks that the bank takes and enjoys the retail return.
Harmoney is currently the only FMA Licensed Peer to Peer Platform in New Zealand

Harmoney’s key advisers are AML Advisers, Simpson and Grierson, Deloitte Partners and Dun & Bradstreet and Centrix.