THE BIG PITCH: What can CBS do to keep the ’Survivor’ buzz alive until the next installment?




US Newswire

Washington, DC

CBS should tie the Survivor cast to the biggest events between now and

January: the Olympics, the elections, Christmas and the Super Bowl. In

September, bring back the cast to compete tribe-on-tribe in real Olympic

events. In October, make them a focus group for the presidential

elections (who would they vote off the island, Bush or Gore?). Let us

see them together at a Christmas party in December where the big winner

plays Santa and gives EVERYONE a gift. And finally, let’s see them play

a game of flag football in their own version of the Super Bowl (Survivor

Bowl?) in January.

That should be enough of the old crew. But I would begin promoting the

new cast - by introducing a couple at each of these events, perhaps

through ads or other kinds of promotions.


Star/Rosen Public Relations

Cherry Hill, NJ

I’d turn the time between now and the start of the next Survivor into

one continuous interactive promotion. The theme: ’Survivor 2001: It’s

Your Vote!’ The public would participate in virtually every major

program decision via a special Web site. For example, the producers

scout five possible locations for the new series, share the gruesome

details and let the public pick where the hapless crew goes. As for

their onerous activities, again, we get to help pick their poison. Last

but by no means least is the selection of the lucky ’Gilligans.’

Candidates’ bios, stats and photos should be posted online, allowing

everyone to play casting director. If this idea seemingly cannibalizes

the approach of Big Brother, all the better. We’re talking survival of

the fittest here!


Internet Wire

Los Angeles

For the next few weeks, keep the current show’s castaways in the public

view, with interviews, guest appearances and events. As the producers

prepare to choose the Australian castaways, let the public help. Post

the entry videos from the finalists on the CBS Web site and have the

audience vote for who they want to see on the show. CBS can publicize

the results on the site and on The Early Show, local newscasts and their

late-night shows. Once the castaways are chosen, the network should

introduce them with a big broadcast event on CBS’ highest rated show

After the show starts and the first few castaways have been ’banished,’

host a Survivor-themed night where all the prime time programming

focuses on Survivor-like scenarios and features former castaways as

guest stars.


PR Newswire

New York

CBS could air and Web cast behind-the-scenes footage during the show’s

current time slot. The winner should hit the TV talk show and news

interview circuits, while the entire cast could have their own Web

chats. At the same time, CBS could begin publicly scouting for the next

batch of survivors, ensuring coverage in local markets by making the

contests public in each region of the country. To take it one step

further, CBS could also sponsor local ’survivor teams’ across the

country to compete in the wilderness on weekends. Participants could

bring along mini-cams and air parts of their adventures on cable access

(but branded as CBS Survivor, of course).

And there is always the possibility that the Survivor cast could issue

their favorite recipes - bugs a la carte, anyone?

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