TVNZ unveils Survivor New Zealand, warns of what’s in store for contestants

Last year, TVNZ announced that international reality hit Survivor would soon be putting Kiwis to the test. Last night, it delivered with the first look at Survivor New Zealand and the dangers that lie ahead in a campaign by TVNZ Blacksand. It also announced the broadcaster sponsor as GEM Finance along with commercial partners Pizza Hut, Alison’s Pantry, Spark and Repel.

More than 8000 Kiwi’s applied to be a part of the series and they’ve since been whittled down to just 16, who will be stranded on the island of Nicaragua in Central America and vie to be the sole survivor. Fair Go’s Matt Chisholm will host the events.

Contestants will be put through a series of challenges and with little more than the clothes on their backs, they will have to light their own fires, gather food and fend for themselves. Any luxury items or home comforts will be provided by the commercial partners.

And at the end of it all, the last man or woman standing will walk away with $100,000.

TVNZ general manager of acquisitions, commissioning and production Andrew Shaw says it’s the ultimate test of endurance, strength and strategy.

“To win Survivor will take determination intelligence and tenacity. These Kiwis will be put under extreme pressure,” he says.

“It’s unpredictable, full of twists and turns, and highly addictive. Our production partners Warner Bros have made a world class show with high production standards in an extraordinary setting.”

Giving the audience an insight into that setting—without giving too much of the series away—the TV, outdoor and digital campaign prepares the public for the dangers that lie ahead in Nicaragua

It shows the dense bushy environment the contestants will be stranded in as well as some of the dangerous creatures that live there, warning contestant to watch their backs.

Once more is revealed in the lead-up and the series gets underway, the integration of commercial partners will become clear. TVNZ commercial director Paul Maher says being a big, adventurous format means it’s attracted big, adventurous brands.

“We’ve loved working with our main broadcast sponsor GEM Finance and key commercial partners Pizza Hut, Alison’s Pantry, Spark and Repel to create the big local show everyone’s going to be talking about for months to come,” he says.

About its reasoning for coming on board as the broadcast sponsor, GEM marketing director Kate Tinkler says GEM is all about Kiwis making smarter money choices and, like Survivor, that means getting ahead and making the most out of every opportunity.

“GEM is entering into the spirit and excitement of the Survivor brand, and will be engaging with Kiwis to find out the top 10 items they need to survive, with the opportunity for a lucky winner to receive their list. And as the show progresses GEM also has a surprise in store for fans.”

In the coming weeks, the commercial partners will be rolling out a range of multi-channel campaigns that leverage their show profile, including complementary TVCs, internal marketing, digital and point of sale executions.

No doubt ramping up discussion about the series will be a Survivor HQ, which will soon be constructed on TVNZ’s central Auckland site out of a shipping container. It will provide a setting for promotional activity, and extra content, such as post-show analysis and interviews for TVNZ’s online channels.

The TVNZ 2 series goes to air 7 May on Sunday nights at 7pm and Monday’s at 7.30pm. It will also be streamed on TVNZ OnDemand.

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