‘Survivor’ with Smartphones: Samsung Launches ‘SOS Island’

By Ella Riley-Adams 


“What would you do, if you were stranded on a tropical island with only a smartphone?” Les Stroud, survival expert and reality TV star, asks in Samsung’s new spot. #SOS? Daily selfies? Think of your answer and get it put to the test with Samsung’s promo for the Galaxy S4 Zoom. Sixteen chosen contestants will be flown to the Caribbean where they’ll learn survival skills from Mr. Stroud. The best eight will move to a secret island, where they will compete in survival challenges, accompanied by their Galaxy gadgets. Viewers of the show then vote on the contestants in real time via their social media posts. The winner gets an island (or $100,000, so an “island experience,” whatever that means).

“It’s an ambitious project but one that will surely not be forgotten,” said Craig Borders, the producer and director behind series like Laguna Beach and Ink Master and SOS Island‘s executive producer. “People crave new entertainment experiences and this series is sure to deliver, while tapping into the social media realm in an unprecedented way.”

It’ll be interesting to see how Samsung avoids a clusterfuck when they’re dealing with a cadre of stranded people, all documenting their experiences in real time. The solution, of course, is for nothing to be in real time, and no one to be really stranded. In that case, we’ll be watching another piece of canned TV. There’s nothing enticing about that, social media streamed or not.