Product / ServiceANCESTRY DNA
CategoryA11. Consumer Services


Name Company Position
Emily Ball Hellofuture TV Executive Producer

The Campaign

This brief required a strategic rethink. Through a full content and performance analysis, using keyword research, social listening, client data and customer interviews, we found that whilst people were highly engaged in the Ancestry content and offer, engagement wasn’t inciting action. Consumers remained complacent – ‘My DNA isn’t changing, what’s the rush?” Hence, the pivotal barrier we had to overcome was a lack of urgency for something that has no time limit. Our analysis led us to a key insight that drove the campaign. ‘The desire for self-discovery ignites most when moving forward with another person, because there’s nothing more intimate than finding out about yourselves together.’ We needed to ‘champion local Australian stories that demonstrate Ancestry products within journeys of self-discovery and moments of human connection’.

Creative Execution

We ran the videos across Australia & New Zealand in Trueview format with CTA overlay to deliver maximum views and response for long-form content whilst only paying for verified views. The videos were run over a two-month period, we launched all videos with even investment, allowing us to get maximum reach for each video and monitor the performance of each video individually. Over the period of the campaign we then optimised to the best performing creative to drive maximum response. We overlayed Google affinity segments such as ‘Family-Focused’ and also targeting people at key life stages (engagement, having a baby and travellers). In order to measure the success of the videos against the Ancestry brand we launched with a YouTube brand uplift study.

From the YouTube brand uplift study, we saw a huge 45.8% lift in Ad recall, YouTube also branded the Lifestages storytelling creative as ‘best-in-class’ across Australia, measuring against all brand studies conducted across all sectors nationally. The brand study showed the LifeStages videos had also driven a 6.6% increase in brand consideration over the period of the study. The videos delivered a VTR of 237% above benchmark and 63% higher VTR than the previous strongest performing AncestryDNA creative, which ultimately lowered our CPV by 65%, as well as decreased our CPCV by 60%. Ensuring we remained performance focused, we monitored the bottom end of the purchase funnel as well as engagement. We saw an increased CTR, whilst seeing a 43% increase in CPC. Finally, and most importantly, we broke the sales trend and drove a 128% increase in subscriptions, outperforming our business objectives by over 6-fold with no additional budget.

The campaign addressed Ancestry’s key business challenge of plateauing DNA sales, by using data driven insights, that informed a strategy to reach Australians at key life stages, with a series of engaging online videos, showcasing Aussies opening the door to another chapter in their lives with Ancestry DNA. These videos were then amplified through YouTubes affinity audience targeting, to ensure we reached our audience at these key life stages and optimised the campaign using real-time data to deliver maximum response. Consequently, the campaign delivered a 128% increase in subscriptions, 6x above the business objective, all with no additional budget.

Insights, Strategy and the Idea

To challenge this lack of urgency, we created a series of video content showcasing real people at key milestones, including marriage, raising a family and people setting off on their travels. By showcasing these stories and aligning them with pivotal moments, we were able to demonstrate the immediate benefit of an Ancestry DNA test. The creative provided immediate relevancy of how knowledge of one’s heritage can impact their direction in life today. As the creative idea came to life, so did these longer form storytelling videos, which showcased the potential of the Ancestry DNA kits. With long form content and limited budget, we needed to identify channels where this rich content could be could be targeted to key audiences at similar life stages. As the highest reaching video platform in Australia, YouTube was chosen to drive scale and engagement, through affinity segment audience targeting.

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