The History Channel and genealogy site Ancestry have partnered on a branded content series, hosted by undefeated retired boxing champion Laila Ali, that profiles women who have made an impact on history and culture. The custom cross-platform series will roll out throughout the month, premiering on Monday, February 6, along with the premiere of History’s Greatest of All Time with Peyton Manning.
Through interviews with their descendants, each :60 piece explores each woman’s unique story. The series marks the latest in a multi-year partnership between History and Ancestry to encourage people to learn about their own history by exploring Ancestry’s records.
“Our collaboration with Ancestry is especially fulfilling because it seamlessly marries each partners’ efforts to illuminate lesser-known history,” said Niki Mandell, vice president, ad sales marketing partnerships, A+E Networks, in a statement. “We’re honored to again deliver well-known talent, along with the trusted, custom, creative environment for this important partner to reach audiences with stories of diversity and family exploration.”
In the above spot, Ali introduces A’Lelia Bundles, great-great granddaughter of Madam C. J. Walker (née Sarah Breedlove), America’s first female self-made millionaire. Walker gained her fortune via her hair-care business, but she also was a prominent philanthropist and social activist.
Besides Walker, the series also features Susan La Flesche Picotte, a Native-American doctor and reformer widely acknowledged as one of the first Indigenous peoples, and the first Indigenous woman, to earn a medical degree; and Mary Spencer, a British-born entrepreneur credited with creating the 1800s candy, Gilbralters, in Salem, Mass., and from that success launching the Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie, America’s oldest candy company.
The custom series was created for A+E Networks in partnership with Canyon Road Entertainment and Blue Slate Films. Ancestry worked with The Content Collective, the entertainment and content marketing division of Omnicom Media Group and OMD, to negotiate and structure the partnership with The History Channel.
The Ancestry branded content series is also supported by three :90 extended custom pieces to be featured on The History Channel’s social platforms and featured within a playlist on History.com. Campaign promotion includes newsletter placements, in-program messaging, and tagged tune-ins.
A+E Networks previously produced a custom branded content series with Ancestry that told stories of formerly enslaved African Americans through conversations with their modern-day descendants and exploring online records that uncovered stories of their ancestors’ lives. The series premiered during the 2022 broadcast of The History Channel’s original documentary, Abraham Lincoln.