As the long-running reality TV series “Survivor” gears up for its monumental 45th season, CBS is rolling out an unprecedented marketing campaign that promises to captivate audiences nationwide. Inspired by the show’s iconic piece of clothing, the “Buff,” this marketing endeavor is set to make headlines and stir excitement in the lead-up to the Season 45 premiere on September 27.
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The “Survivor Buff Takeover” initiative transforms famous landmarks across the United States into vibrant showcases for Buffs, the versatile pieces of fabric that have become synonymous with the show. These Buff-adorned landmarks include the Green Giant in Blue Earth, Minnesota; Make Way for Ducklings in Boston; Forever Marilyn in Palm Springs, California; Ripley’s Believe It or Not! in Los Angeles; Monster Monument at Dover Motor Speedway in Dover, Delaware; Gulfstream Park’s Pegasus and The Dragon in Hallandale Beach, Florida; the Tuska statue at the University of Alabama; and the Ralphie statue at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Mike Benson, CBS’s President and Chief Marketing Officer, shared the campaign’s goals, saying, “We wanted to create something that made some noise for the show. That went beyond telling people that a new season was on, to reintroduce the program to viewers. Something that was provocative and maybe only ‘Survivor’ could do.”
Dover, Delaware, will see Miles the Monster proudly donning a colossal Buff measuring a staggering 104 by 14 feet, officially earning the title of the largest Buff ever created. Meanwhile, Pegasus in Florida will flaunt a Buff that stretches 66 by 11 feet, and in Minnesota, the Green Giant will be adorned with a Buff spanning 40 by 5 feet.
In an exciting twist, CBS has partnered with NFL and NCAA mascots, including the Seattle Seahawks’ “Blitz,” the University of Alabama’s “Big Al,” and the University of Colorado’s “Chip,” who will sport their very own “Survivor” Buffs, further enhancing the campaign’s reach and appeal.
Fans eager to participate in the “Survivor” frenzy can join the fun through augmented reality (AR) lenses on popular social media platforms like Snapchat and TikTok, allowing them to virtually wear their own Buffs.
Despite its impressive run since debuting in 2000, “Survivor” continues to attract new generations of viewers. Benson noted, “People discovered it during the pandemic, and it’s kind of fascinating the turnover of audiences that have happened. There’s a lot of audience that comes into this show and continues to discover how it really is one of the best competition shows on TV. We think that the show’s got a lot of life. It’s far from over.”
Adding to the excitement, on September 26, the Empire State Building in New York City will illuminate in yellow, blue, and red, representing each tribe in Season 45. Furthermore, viewfinders on the building’s 86th-floor Observatory will be adorned with Buffs. Los Angeles will host a drone show near Hollywood and Highland on September 23, celebrating the premieres of both “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race,” which will air as 90-minute episodes this season.
The “Survivor Buff Takeover” campaign is poised to be a remarkable prelude to what promises to be an unforgettable Season 45 of the beloved reality show. As fans eagerly anticipate the return of “Survivor,” CBS’s innovative marketing approach ensures that the Buff, a symbol of resilience and survival, continues to be a source of inspiration and intrigue for viewers across the nation.