With its announcement of the upcoming Survivor New Zealand TVNZ isn't only searching for contestants keen to be stranded on an island during Survivor NZ. The broadcaster is also looking for brands that might want to get in on the action.
TVNZ’s commercial integration manager for production funding, Amanda Murphy, says Survivor is broadcast in 70 countries, but the New Zealand version is unique because brands have the opportunity to be integrated into the programme in the form of rewards for the contestants.
She says the global versions, like the US and UK, have big budgets, so integration of brand partners is “few and far between”.
“It’s not the norm to have key brands involved in this show – they are usually unbranded because the there not the requirement to to integrate brands.”
While TVNZ cannot disclose the names, there has already been interest from a number of brands. Murphy says people are so familiar with the Survivor format, they know straight away if their brand is a fit.
“From watching the show its pretty out there that these poor people are having their luxury items taken away from them – it’s a bit like when you go overseas, what you are missing from home. Obviously food will be a big player in there because these people are not eating, but there’s obviously lots of different opportunities for clients to weave their brands in….
“They literally arrive on the island with very little and no personal items, so even a nice shampoo or toothpaste are some of the things they don’t have.”
Anything can be an exciting reward says Murphy, so there are no fixed rules on the types of brands required to work with the show.
For brands who do chose to get involved, they be rewarded with a huge audience if the Survivor US stats are anything to go by.
Last year, as the programme kicked off its 31st season, The New York Times, reported its “consistent” ratings.
“In the last three years, the show has averaged 11.5 million viewers, according to data provided by Nielsen. The show’s season premiere brought in almost exactly that number, 11.4 million, according to same-day and three-day Nielsen figures.”
As well as this, there is the huge kiwi appetite for local format reality TV, which Murphy says has been driven by the cooking and DIY programmes. The Survivor format however is completely different, something TVNZ is very excited.
“The minute the press went out yesterday with a casting call there was a bit of a frenzy out in the market place, both from agencies and clients - the uptake was so positive,” Murphy says.
With no confirmation yet about the deserted island contestants will be left on, TVNZ could possibly have a look at these suggestions:
Tonight, on Survivor NZ: the tribe enter into delicate Treaty negotiations. Guest starring the Waitangi Tribunal #SurvivorNZPlots— Joshua Drummond (@joshua_drummond) February 25, 2016
#SurvivorNZ should just be a documentary about NZ life. We're already a tiny remote island with no IKEA or Taco Bell.— AliceBrine (@AliceBrine) February 24, 2016
"You've got 60 seconds to work out who Glucina is referring to in these 'Guess Who' items, or you'll have to eat these bugs" #SurvivorNZ— Damian Christie (@damianchristie) February 23, 2016
Survivor NZ Challenges:— Melanie D. (@melulater) February 23, 2016
Having to sit through a Gareth Morgan lecture on the sins of cat ownership.#survivornz
I cannot believe there's going to be a Survivor NZ. I feel we'd be too nice. "Yeah, nah bro, you stay on the island. I'll go. Chur."— Simon Wong (@wimon_song) February 24, 2016