Case Study

History's Vikings x Geico

Soul Kitchen’s Challenge #1:

History wanted to do something “new and fresh” to boost viewership for the season premiere of its hit series Vikings while simultaneously creating a custom, one-of-a-kind opportunity for a potential brand partner.

And while Vikings is a huge hit, grabbing consumer attention in a noisy world can be painfully difficult. Grabbing it for a returning series? Even more so.

Plus, what do you offer a brand that it hasn’t done before?

Our Strategy:

Soul Kitchen wanted to create a one-hour live television special, with a modern twist, leading up to the season premiere of the series.

Our goal was to broadcast the show live on Facebook while simulcasting it on the stars’ pages to exponentially boost viewership.

But here’s where we wanted to do what had never been done, before.

15-minutes before Vikings premiered on History, we would break through and go live on the television network, creating an in-the-moment simulcast.

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Soul Kitchen’s Challenge #2:

The series was still in production in Ireland. So, we would have to do this live from Dublin at 2 o’clock in the morning.

The cast was scheduled to film that day which would, in essence, give them each a few hours sleep before having to dress up like Vikings, cover themselves in blood and film for 15 hours in the freezing December weather.

None of them were contractually obligated to participate in this idea.

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Soul Kitchen’s Challenge #3

Not only had this not been done before by the network, but technically speaking, this hadn’t been done before, period.

We leveraged our unique relationship with the folks at Facebook proper, our global relationships in broadcast satellite operations and dug deep into our extensive production backgrounds to develop, produce, edit and broadcast this very special night of entertainment.

Long story short? We got it done.

Results:

Vikings Live created a one-of-a-kind opportunity for History and their brand partner Geico.

It was noisy. It was funny. It worked.

The series premiere went on to set several records for the network and resulted in a very happy little gecko.

Real Talk:

As former executives ourselves, we always felt like these case studies were a bunch of platitudes and non-sensical speak that was hard to decipher.

So here’s what we actually did to hit a homerun for History and Geico:

  • Conceptualized and developed the idea for the hour-long show, including its minute-by-minute rundown
  • Edited the packages that would run within the show
  • Figured out the technical nightmare of simulcasting a live broadcast across multiple celebrities’ Facebook pages, History’s Facebook page and History’s on-air channels.
  • Convinced the Vikings cast to participate
  • Found, secured and set dressed the Ireland location to look like a Viking lair
  • Hired all crew in Ireland and New York including production personnel, camera crew, satellite broadcast operations truck, live editors, technical director, etc.
  • Managed talent to and from set
  • Directed talent, live
  • Kept a calm, fun vibe the entire time (seriously, this is probably what we’re most proud of)