MyHeritage DNA Challenges Traditional Notion Of Race

MyHeritage DNA is challenging the idea of checking that one little box to define one’s race. 

A campaign created by WPP’s Berlin Cameron includes a video featuring rapper and spoken word artist Prince Ea.

“After seeing his videos that tackle social conversations ranging from the environment to education and race itself, we were convinced he was the right person to amplify the message,” said Jennifer DaSilva, president of Berlin Cameron.

There is a level of anxiety and tension today around the subject of cultural and racial identity, she says. “During these conversations, we thought, can DNA testing help to create greater personal awareness and social understanding?” she asks. “It wasn’t about using a ‘celebrity’ or ‘co-opting’ a cultural moment.  It was about finding an authentic voice who could speak credibly and passionately to the issue.”



Prince Ea was given creative license to articulate this issue in his own words and not as “advertising copy.” He wrote the monologue himself and the agency created a platform for him to share his very personal experiences, including racism itself.

“A pivotal point in the monologue is Prince Ea’s idea that ‘Racism is very real, but race is a figment of our collective imagination,’” DaSilva says. “This became the essence of the MyHeritage DNA message and we believe sharing this message with as many people as possible has the potential to create a genuine connection between commerce and societal challenges that is genuine, passionate and, most importantly, authentic.”

The video launched Thursday via social media and within hours was trending on YouTube.  Traditional media will begin on Sunday with the :60 version on channels like Bravo, ESPN, Discover Channel, TRU TV and Viceland. Prince Ea will host a Facebook Live event in a few weeks to unveil his family history to his followers

MyHeritage was already a leading international family history company, says Aaron Godfrey, VP Marketing, MyHeritage. Adding the DNA test last year was a “natural extension of our brand as it helps people to discover even more about themselves and their heritage.” 

“As an online influencer, Prince Ea continuously challenges his audience about the way we think about heritage and our own roles in society,” Godfrey tells Marketing Daily. “The partnership with Prince Ea was, therefore, a natural and complementary fit for both MyHeritage and Prince Ea to help others to make that meaningful journey into their past."

The company is partnering with Prince Ea across his channels as well as with key media who are interested in hearing about his ethnicity results taken through MyHeritage DNA. 

“Separate to this, we are also working with TV presenters, online influencers and industry experts who are interested in learning more about themselves through DNA,” Godfrey says. “From reality TV shows on E!, to expert genealogists, to appearances on Fox & Friends, the marketing campaign is positioned to place MyHeritage DNA as a global household brand across age groups.”

Although MyHeritage DNA complements family tree building via MyHeritage, it is a separate product. 

“Therefore, the campaign aims to reach both current MyHeritage users as well as those that are interested in taking an at-home, affordable, DNA test,” Godfrey says. “As MyHeritage is available in 196 countries, marketing activities, therefore, take on a global perspective.

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