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People Discover Their True Origins in Powerful New AncestryDNA Campaign

Fifty Fifty has teamed up with Fergus Hynd to create ‘Reaction’, a striking three spot campaign for Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, to promote the company’s DNA product, AncestryDNA.

Demonstrating how AncestryDNA can reveal surprises as to who you are and where you come from, the powerful campaign features real people discovering the true story behind their DNA for the very first time. Their raw reactions — which range from wonder, to joy, to thoughtfulness — are captured in extreme detail in slow motion as they find out their unique ethnic mix.

‘Reaction’, developed as part of a new brand strategy for AncestryDNA, is the result of a creative collaboration between Fergus Hynd Ltd and Fifty Fifty, and achieved without any traditional agency involvement. With production and post production expertise built into the creative, this new approach offers a uniquely streamlined method for clients who want creative ideation and execution. With each stage being treated as a distinct project, clients are given maximum control of spend.

Fifty Fifty was intricately involved in bringing the beautifully shot, masterfully crafted idea to life. The company’s partnership with Fergus Hynd Ltd builds on years of collaboration on a series of commercial projects for different agencies. Responsible for all elements of the creative process, from pre-production right through to full post-production, Fifty Fifty was hands on from the early stages of the project.

The casting was instrumental in conveying the campaign’s core message of the exciting possibilities that are waiting to be unlocked in your DNA. The thorough casting process involved over 80 potentials, from which the team selected six individuals. To achieve authentic reactions, an important element of the brief was for the cast to have a deep desire to understand their ancestry.

Because the campaign called for real people to submit their DNA, there were unpredictable casting elements that were dependent upon the results from the lab, which were revealed on the shoot day. The streamlined collaborative approach allowed Fifty Fifty to work with these challenging elements and a tight post deadline to deliver the final product ahead of schedule.

Describing the unique and forward-looking model, Fifty Fifty’s Managing Director, Cara Kotschy, comments: “This was collaboration in the truest sense; decisions were made together, often on-site, with the creative and the client, allowing for a lot of adaptability and control. It felt great to have the client’s creative engagement throughout the whole process and I think we’ve created something very special as a result.”

Fergus Hynd, Director of Fergus Hynd Ltd, explains: “This new way of working gave us the ability to be leaner and more reactive to proposals. I’ve worked with Cara for many years now so this was the perfect opportunity to combine our two disciplines. It was so refreshing to be able to have Fifty Fifty’s production expertise on hand so we could offer the reality of executing the idea whilst developing the creative.”

Creative – Fergus Hynd Ltd
Executive Producer – Cara Kotschy
Post-Production – Fifty Fifty
Julian Nelson – Offline editor
Pete Morision / Julian Nelson – 2D Graphics & design (After Effects)
Kenny Gibb — Colourist
Aman Kang – Online editor (Flame)
John Paul Sutherland – Dubbing Mixer