Contender Ready?

How would you handle being pitted against a Gladiator? By allowing viewers to compare their own strength with that of the Gladiators, we created a topic of discussion that breathed new life into a tried and tested TV format.


TV4 wanted to attract a new audience to a TV format that has been around since the 1990s. The aim was to reach beyond young families and encourage people to view the ninth season of Gladiators as fitness and entertainment combined.



Although the Gladiators have huge muscles and can look frightening when they’re in the arena, many see their sporting performance as something of an act. So how could we persuade fitness fans to change their perception of the Gladiators from musclebound hulks to impressive athletes?


We gave fitness fans watching at home a chance to measure themselves against the Gladiators in a variety of different fitness exercises. A new challenge was issued every week, helping people who took part realise what great athletes the Gladiators actually are.

A new challenge was issued every week

Each challenge had an accompanyied video to give the viewer the feeling they were competing head to head with a Gladiator. The exercises also became social media content, with TV4 and the Gladiators themselves challenging followers to test their strength.

A new Gladiator stood ready on each update

After completing an exercise, the visitor was encouraged to challenge their friends by uploading their results and a picture on Instagram. Each week the Gladiators themselves challenged TV celebrities and fitness bloggers, which led to further coverage.


Contender ready? became a hot topic that breathed new life into a tried and tested TV format, a way to talk about the Gladiators’ physique and performance, rather than focusing on the arrival of just another season. Many accounts with large numbers of followers took part in the campaign, which led to images with the hashtag #Utmanareredo (Contender ready) achieving over 5,000,000 views on Instagram. The campaign site attracted over 100,000 visitors with an average session length of three minutes.

#Utmanareredo has started being used as a hashtag in a fitness context outside the programme, and the proportion of fitness-related images at #Gladiatorerna has risen by 45%. Ultimately, the number of streams started on TV4 Play rose by 15%.