American Ninja Warrior & U.S. Army Social Series


As a part of a U.S. Army rebrand, The U.S. Army partnered with NBC’s American Ninja Warrior series to reach their demographic and audience. NBC was tasked with creating a social series showcasing 4 outstanding Soldiers, their stories, and their eventual run on an American Ninja Warrior course. Due to the scale and expertise required of the project, Digital Media Management production team was enlisted by NBC to execute and further develop this concept. DMM owned every aspect of story-building by conducting pre-interviews off camera, concepting and building out each episode structure, creating shot lists and identifying camera types, equipment, location and additional support teams needed. DMM owned pre-production, production, and post production, and delivered 3 polished videos for the social series and one 30 second custom content piece that aired in the main show on broadcast television.



A main objective of the Army was to adjust their messaging to the public and really drive home the idea that the Army is an avenue for endless opportunities and allows you to “be all you can be.” To achieve this objective, we focused on telling these Soldier’s stories through a narrative and character-driven lens by using a combination of voiceovers from sit-down interviews and personal photos and video footage to show their journeys from joining the Army to the American Ninja Warrior stage.


Our production team led every aspect of production and secured all necessary locations, permits, crew, talent, and scripting. It was important to us to carry NBC and the Army’s messaging and branding throughout the entire social series, which we achieved by branding our studio space with red, white, blue, and metal truss to give the interviews a more industrial, on-set American Ninja Warrior feel. We also aligned with our stylist to dress the Soldiers in the Army’s brand new logo for their sitdown interviews and a cohesive all-black look for their course run. Ultimately making for a “uniform” look while still letting their individualities come through, which was another major goal for the Army.

To really bring these Soldier’s stories to life, we completed pre-interviews with each person, 2 men, and 2 women, and we honed in on what made each of them the best in their fields while also maintaining a steady through-line of Army messaging. From our pre-interviews, we were able to craft pointed interview questions for the filmed sit-down interviews in studio, which resulted in clear and concise answers that aligned with the Army’s overall message. We also completed interviews at the course, to get high-energy, impactful commentary on how running the course made them feel and how excited they were to be there. 

For our 30-second broadcast spot, we were challenged with matching the look of another shoot day (which had been completed by NBC weeks prior) so the interview would look as if it had been shot on the sidelines as the show was happening. To accomplish this look, DMM traveled to NBC’s backlot to shoot a plate, which we keyed in behind the talent and our 4 Soldiers later. We sourced the same clothing, hair stylist, and makeup artist for our talent, Zuri Hall, so the look would be seamless, and we shot the 5 person interview in our DMM studio on a green screen. Later we added in the plate with our post-production edit team, and the interview was ready for broadcast.


DMM came up with a 3 part digital series and 1 broadcast spot that focused on each Soldier’s journey through the Army which culminated in the opportunity for each of them to run on the American Ninja Warrior course at the American Ninja Warrior Adventure Park in Santa Ana, CA. We carefully crafted each interview question to evoke answers that aligned with the Army’s messaging. Always encouraging them to explain how the Army led each of them to a career they love and may have not gotten to do otherwise. In other words how the Army allowed them to “be all they can be.” Along the way we emphasized how much each Soldier loves American Ninja Warrior and how excited they were to be running the course, tying the two brands, NBC and Army, together. The series aired a new episode every Monday in June 2023 and the broadcast spot aired during an episode of American Ninja Warrior on June 5, 2023 for millions of viewers to watch. All remaining episodes can be found at