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Survivor: Jeff Probst Says Product Placement Is Here To Stay

May 09, 2011 12:00 PM by Ryan Haidet

When the castaways were treated with messages from home on last week’s episode of Survivor: Redemption Island, the love initially came via a Sprint smart phone.  As fans of the show know, this is nothing new.  But apparently, some fans have become frustrated with the Sprint product placement.  In his most-recent video blog, host Jeff Probst addressed the product placement and defended having Sprint heavily involved this season.

“For all you guys that complain about product placement and talk as though you know what’s going on,” Probst said in his six-minute blog.  “Let me tell you what is going on.  That’s your future.  So get used to it, or figure you’re not going to have any television ’cause nobody is watching commercials thanks to the DVR.  Somebody has to pay for it.  Advertisers pay for it.  Sprint pays a big part of our show.  We’re happy to put their phone on there.  We’re happy to use it.  They are a big reason we’re still on the air.  And that is going to be the future.  Either that or it’s going to be called, ‘Sprint presents: Survivor.’  Take your choice.”

In addition to seeing the messages from home, the remaining castaways at the Murlonio camp and Redemption Island also used the Sprint phones to take pictures of themselves being goofy.  Those photos have now been published on CBS.com, which I’ve also scattered throughout this article.

I’ve never been upset with the product placement.  Every show does it, but Survivor doesn’t try to hide it like many programs.  Whether it’s a Pepsi machine in the background or characters wearing certain sytles of shoes, product placement is inescapable.

The big surprise to me is that people are still complaining about it popping up on Survivor.  Have these folks not been watching Survivor since its inception?  I clearly remember Target, Snickers and Sierra Mist having prominent exposure in a variety of seasons.  What about all of the cars we’ve seen given as prizes throughout the years?  That’s product placement, too.  Oh, and I would never want to exclude the well-known “casa de Charmin” outhouse from Survivor: Panama — Exile Island.  Priceless.  Wait, I think that was a Mastercard reference.

I truly did giggle to myself just now as I typed that last sentence on my Gateway computer with my Android phone sitting at my side.

Product placement enough?  Please forgive me.

22 seasons in, I think it’s time to move on and complain about something else.  It’s a tired argument that will never ever been won by viewers.  It’s a hopeless battle.

Images courtesy of CBS.

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Topics: CBS Reality TV Shows, Survivor |

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