Harbour views: Stayz posts cheeky listing of empty Prime Minister’s residence for holiday-goers

Harbour views: Stayz posts cheeky listing of empty Prime Minister’s residence for holiday-goers

Tying your business’s marketing to current affairs can be a risky move but accommodation website Stayz.com.au has shown how to news jack with style.  

Following Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s admission at the start of the week that he and wife Lucy Turnbull will not live at prime ministerial residence Kirribilli House in Sydney, the team at Stayz decided “it would be a shame to let [the house] go unused”.  

Stayz created a listing for Kirribilli House on its website, which includes eight photos of the “spacious and illustrious property that is steeped in history with beautiful, uninterrupted views Easterly towards Sydney”.  

“The owner is a busy individual who resides elsewhere in Sydney,” the description reads.  

“Furthermore he is not looking for monetary compensation for staying, therefore only a moderate cleaning fee applies.” 

Among the features listed for the property are 10 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a jacuzzi that fits 12 people, Wi-Fi that is “guaranteed quickest in the country” and a panic room with “code word: ‘yodel’”.  

“We imagine it’d make an awesome place to stay,” Stayz said in a Facebook post about the listing, along with the hashtag #stayatmalcs.  

Dave Dunstan, marketing director at Stayz, told SmartCompany “with any reactive campaign timing is everything”. 

“That’s the benefit of social channels,” Dunstan says. 

“They are instant and we can move quickly.”

Dunstan says the Stayz team knew there would be an opportunity to link in with the news of the Liberal Party leadership spill “if we got the tone right”.

“As soon as the news broke that the PM wouldn’t be residing in Kirribilli House the team jumped on it,” he says. 

“It’s light hearted and a little cheeky, but it relates to Stayz and what we do, which is why it’s been received so well.”

While there’s been no shortage of brands finding marketing opportunities out of the change in Liberal Party leadership, communications and social media expert Catriona Pollard told SmartCompany this morning Stayz’s marketing efforts tick all the right boxes.  

“What I really like about this is they were really quick to do it … and it’s using humour in a really positive way that links directly to their brand,” Pollard says.  

“It completely relates to what they sell, there is a deep connection to their brand.” 

Pollard says the positive tone of the listing and accompanying social media posts has also worked in Stayz’s favour, 

 She says it is a canny move to “build on the sentiment and tone that is currently going through social media and culture” with many Australians already having a laugh about the fact that the new Prime Minister already owns a mansion in Sydney.  

Pollard says other brands have run into trouble with news jacking in the past because the piece of news they have selected has nothing to do with the goods or services they are selling.  

“It has to link to your brand,” she says.  

“The only way you are going to leverage this in a positive way is if it correlates to your brand.” 

*This article was updated at 4.45pm on September 25 to include comments from Stayz. 


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