The success of “7 vs. Wild” – this is why the survival series can’t be killed – culture


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Live, Love, Suffer: The Trinity Formula for Reality TV Still Works – Now on YouTube, too.

“7 vs. Wild” is the name of a YouTube reality series that is going through the roof right now. At first glance, the format doesn’t seem particularly innovative: seven more or less celebrities who must fight their way through the wilderness for seven days. If you didn’t give up at the end, you won.

Recipe for Success: Desperate Influencers

The trailer boasts dramatic orchestral music and participants filming on the brink of despair. The format is as simple as it is successful. Between six and nine million people watch the episodes.

The smart thing about the show: Candidates are influencers. “They bring their whole community with them,” says SRF film editor Enno Reins. “The series has a guaranteed viewership.” In addition, participants post their own reaction videos for each episode on their social media channels. This further increases the popularity of «7 vs. Wild».

Many reality series now appeal to a younger target audience, says Rainer Laux, creator of “Big Brother” (or now “Celebrity Big Brother”). Whether dating shows or pure survival shows, they’re a gold mine for streaming services.

Minimal equipment, maximum helplessness

Today, stars and asterisks allow viewers to get particularly close. In “7 vs. Wild” they film themselves.

This is what they look like at the end of a self-made recording

“It’s a more intimate situation,” says Enno Reins. “You really feel like they’re alone and helpless in the wilderness. Other television formats, on the other hand, rely on cameramen: “In other words, the person never feels alone.”

Shaky cameras and spontaneous moments of despair are received authentically by the audience. Rainer Laux also sees the success of reality series on social networks in this powerlessness effect: “Survival formats simply don’t work on German TV. The viewer says, ‘There’s a camera, nothing’s going to happen to it.'” The sense of authentic isolation and danger keeps viewers busy.

An old recipe, freshly cooked

Established formats like “The Jungle Camp” or the island show “Survivor” have already achieved similar success to what we’re seeing now with “7 vs. Wild.” Fictional productions like “Squid Games” or “The Hunger Games” also boasted the idea of ​​survival.

The principle is always the same: ordinary people are placed in an extreme environment and forced to extreme actions. Viewers can ask themselves: How would I behave in a similar situation?

Popular and cheap

A nice side effect: Production without a large crew and camera rigs is much cheaper, says film editor Enno Reins. “You have little cameras, give them to the candidates and set them out in the wild. And it is done.”

It seems to work for formats like «7 vs. Wild». The series is now in its second season.

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