The overall goal was to continue creating series that appealed to a younger & more diverse audience than is typically associated with the History Channel. This meant a target platform of YouTube. Building on the success of Ancient Recipes with Sohla, we were tasked with developing & producing a companion series for YouTube. We wanted to create a series that was repeatable, engaging & unique in the space while keeping to the fun & informative brand promise. We needed something that would also work well with a food related series. And what better to go with a food series than a fitness series!
We leaned into the plethora of fitness content on YT & did the History Channel take on that content vertical. We chose a fitness series because that target audience's video consumption habits overlapped a lot with the other channels/videos that History subscribers watched.
We developed our series to explore ancient & historic warrior cultures - clearing up myths & drilling down into each warrior's training methods. We then have each episode explore what modern training methods would come close to mimicing the training of these ancient cultures. This is a repeatable format for the series which helps to build an audience on YouTube. People love a familiar format with a fresh topic.
Since we were targeting YouTube as a our platform in order to continue to cultivate engagement & a better brand image, we wanted to have a host that was familiar to the YouTube audience. Omar Isuf was a perfect fit because he also has a passion for historic warrior cultures & has been making YouTube content for years.
Within our episode structure, we tweaked the script to align with Omar's own voice so that it would be authentic to him & his audience would be more likely to come along to watch the series. This is when we started to solidify the joking tone of each episode and the use of "guests" in the costume of the warriors that were the topic of the week.
It wouldn't fit the History Channel brand to make a series that looked like any other ugc YouTube content. So the look & style of the series needed to feel more premium to hit our brand promise. We put an emphasis on set dec to make it instantly recognizable that this is a historic fitness series - swords & armor all over the gym.
The series has already been a success with only 4 episodes released & over 1million views so far. The series has also been covered by fitness focused press outlets with Men's Health leading the charge. This has been an amazing win for the brand since it puts the brand & its content in front of an entire new audience demo: fitness enthusiasts.
So this series has performed great from a numbers perspective & also done the work of improving the brand image and reaching new audiences.