Ancestry, Inc. LEHI, Utah, June 29, 2017 (video-release) -- To celebrate the Fourth of July, Ancestry has launched a new campaign about how our past can reshape the way we see our present and our future. The “Declaration Descendants” campaign highlights how our individual and collective history is an important part of our country’s makeup and that we are all universally connected, sometimes in unexpected ways.
Shining a spotlight on America’s modern-day diversity and our past, present and future, the campaign brings together an ensemble of 29 living descendants of the Declaration’s 56 signers – men, women and children from different ethnicities, life experiences and geographies. Ancestry found and brought together these individuals to recreate and modernize the iconic “Declaration of Independence” painting by John Trumbull. At the heart of the campaign is a brand film, in which these descendants recite some of the most poignant lines from the Declaration of Independence, bringing to life the written words of their ancestors nearly 241 years later.
“The Fourth of July is a time of great national pride, and our new campaign is a portrait of how America has evolved. Diversity isn't just something we value as Americans; it's quite literally part of who we are,” said Vineet Mehra, Chief Marketing Officer, Ancestry. “We are living in a time when many people feel disconnected from one another, and one of the most powerful things we can do is to show how connected we really are. Fundamentally, we all share an inherent need to know who we are and how we’re related – it can change how we view the world and how we view our future.”
Ancestry’s genealogy research team spent hundreds of hours validating the lineage lines of the Founding Fathers and signers to discover living descendants. They explored deep family trees, volumes of recognized published research and gravestone memorial research. The descendants are men and women from diverse ethnic backgrounds, including Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Filipino, Native American and Korean, among others. Descendants of Thomas Jefferson, William Hooper, Philip Livingston, Benjamin Rush, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, John Hart, John Witherspoon and Edward Rutledge are spotlighted.
While some of the descendants discovered their surprising link to the past for the first time through this campaign and others were previously aware of their connection, all of the descendants hold a sense of pride about their role in history and our American values. Some have followed similar professional paths and civic passions as their ancestors – such as Benjamin Franklin’s descendants who were inspired to become volunteer firefighters after learning Franklin founded the original fire brigade. Furthermore, the descendant of Benjamin Rush, a physician, was surprised to connect the dots to her path to nursing.
The integrated marketing campaign was developed with an agency roster including, Droga5 (advertising and digital), OMD (media buying) and Weber Shandwick (public relations). Advertising debuts today with a hero television film (:60 and :30), followed with inspiring, real-life stories of some descendants. The campaign is supported in digital spots, OOH, cinema, a dedicated digital and social media program, media collaborations and public relations initiatives.
For more information about the “Declaration Descendants” campaign, visit Ancestry.com/declaration.
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