29 June 2009

Ancestry: National "My Story" ad campaign

Here's a great way to capture the imagination of those who have never ever thought about the joys of genealogy!

Ancestry.com is launching a national "My Story" ad campaign, spotlighting five members who have made family connections.

Ancestry.com, the world's largest online resource for family history, will showcase the stories of five Americans who have made amazing family history discoveries through its Web site in My Story, a new advertising campaign launching today. Tapping into the powerful tradition of storytelling, the new campaign seeks to convey the possibilities of discovering yourself through family history and inspire Americans everywhere to dig deeper into their own heritage.

The new campaign will run for at least the next 12 months. The five 15, 30 and 60 second television ads will spotlight Ancestry.com members from across the country and their heartwarming family history connections, including a New Yorker who found answers about a father he wanted to better understand and a woman from Chicago who is opening up a restaurant with a cousin after exploring how far the cooking talent extended in her family tree. The TV spots will appear on popular cable networks and channels such as AMC, CNN, Fox News, History Channel, Lifetime Movie Network and Hallmark, among others.
Each of the five stories will be available online along with banner ads from today.

As genealogists, we know that these discoveries happen every day. The site went through thousands of member-submitted stories to select just five, life-changing stories.

The target demographic is adults, age 45 and older, as motivated heritage-seekers tend to get involved over time, although family history curiosity is a basic human desire.

The ads will serve to inspire people to learn more about their own families.

The stories:

A New Yorker Finds Answers about His Father
Alton Woodman (White Plains, New York) never knew much about his dad, who passed away when Alton was just 14 years old. Turning to Ancestry.com, Alton found his father in a 1920 census record as a 14-year-old himself, and discovered that he was attending an orphanage. To help connect the dots, Alton got in touch with a representative from the orphanage and received a package that offered a more complete picture of his father's childhood.

One Man Discovers His Great Grandfather was a War Hero
Cary Christopher (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and San Diego, California) always wondered about his German great grandfather, who disappeared after a short-lived marriage to Cary's great grandmother ended in divorce. After 40 years of futile searching, Cary discovered his great grandfather in a World War I draft registration card on Ancestry.com. It turned out his great grandfather had immigrated to the United States before World War I, became a US citizen and rose to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Merchant Marines, where he was killed by a torpedo fired by a German submarine during World War II.

South Florida Man Connects Father to His Own Mother
Jim Lane's (Key Biscayne, Florida) father never knew his mother, who died when he was an infant. Through historical records and member connection services on Ancestry.com, Jim discovered relatives who sent him pictures of his grandmother, and for the first time, Jim's father was able to see a photograph of his mother.

Chicago Cook Meets Like-Minded Cousin
When caterer Peggy McDowell (Chicago, Illinois) began researching the cooking talent in her family tree, she had no idea she would end up going into business with a long-lost cousin. Through searching records on Ancestry.com, she connected with her cousin, who also shares her passion for cooking. Together, they're opening a soul food restaurant in Chicago's Hyde Park.

Washington Woman Confirms Father's Passing
Cathryn Darling (Olympia, Washington) had many unanswered questions about her father, who had disappeared when she was eight years old after her parent's divorce. After searching obituary records on Ancestry.com, Cathryn learned her father died as a fisherman while at sea in Oregon in 1970, and she recently held a memorial service in his honor.

Anything that introduces absolute newcomers to the possibilities and joys of genealogy is a great innovation. I'm looking forward to seeing the ads.

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