Ancestry's first campaign from Anomaly is full of unfinished stories

Canadian effort encourages viewers to find the drama in their own history

Published On
Apr 08, 2019

Editor's Pick

Anomaly, which last fall won international creative responsibilities for Ancestry, debuted its first work for the genealogy company--and it promises to leave viewers guessing.

The integrated campaign consists of three dramatic historical tales. One depicts an interracial couple planning to escape from the United States in the 1860s so they can marry legally in Canada. Another depicts a family deciding on whether to leave Ireland during the potato famine, and a third depicts a young man aching to join the military during WWI--but his weak heart makes his doctor reluctant to give him a green light.

Just as we’re fully embroiled in their drama, however, the spots cut off. Copy then reads, “Without you, the story stops here.” The point? To encourage individuals to mine the thrilling tales of their own histories through Ancestry’s DNA data.

“We uncovered a new strategic opportunity that positions Ancestry as a usage platform, much like well-known streaming services,” said Anomaly Toronto President Candace Borland in a statement. “Ancestry is a platform that people use to uncover the ongoing, fascinating stories of their ancestors--it was time to show that truth in a new light.”

“The stories of our ancestors can be just as entertaining and engrossing as anything a Hollywood writers’ room can cook up,” added Bill DeGroot, Canadian country manager of Ancestry. “And by exploring our family history, we can play a role in uncovering that drama.”

More campaign elements will roll out in Canada in the coming weeks. Daniel and Dorian directed the spots out of The Corner Store.