Ancestry launches inaugural campaign with State of Origin

Ancestry - DEPT

DEPT and Ancestry leveraged AI to supercharge production efficiencies.

Ancestry and DEPT have teamed up to launch a campaign for the genealogy company’s inaugural partnership with Ampol State of Origin 2024.

The Discover Your Origin campaign is a strategic initiative that delves deep into the roots of well-known Australian rugby league players this season and showcases the impressive slate of DNA product offerings.

The campaign aims to demonstrate the power of DNA testing and connect it to the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) passionate fan base.

Discover Your Origin is live and has been amplified across all screens including TV, VOD, and social. The partnership was facilitated by Publicis Sport & Entertainment with campaign strategy by media agency Spark Foundry Australia and creative agency DEPT Australia.


Through social content and exclusive access to talent, including State of Origin players Tom Trbojevic and Ben Hunt, Ancestry will uncover the origins of the players’ DNA, as well as the people and places from their past.

DEPT and Ancestry leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to supercharge production efficiencies. AI not only added depth to frames but also facilitated voice-over recording. Multiple options were generated, allowing for a perfect match between visuals, sounds, and brand identity.

“DEPT really took on the challenge of embracing heritage but powering it with innovation,” James Walmsley, head of marketing Australia and New Zealand at Ancestry, said.

“The use of AI to create the imagery and voice-over in this campaign was a great example of how to use this technology in a way that enhances creativity. We couldn’t be more happy with the collaboration with DEPT and their innovative spirit.”

The concept drew inspiration from Michel Gondry’s music videos for bands such as Daft Punk and The White Stripes, showcasing sequences of backward-moving time and adding a surreal and captivating quality to his work. The campaign features AI-enhanced visuals, including an 80s-style lounge room where the past and present intersect.

Brad Stevens, executive creative director at DEPT, said: “What I love about DEPT is our constant pursuit of new ways to solve our clients’ problems. With this particular brief, we were lucky to have an ambitious client willing to embrace technology to tackle the challenge: connecting the past to the future, and doing it in a very short turnaround.”


James Walmsley – Head of Marketing
Sinead Bushell – Marketing Manager
Nozi Bhebhe – Marketing Manager

National Rugby League:
Caroline Yuen – General Manager Partnerships
Sophie Wills – Partnership Manager
Joshua Bell – Digital Commercial Executive

Weber Shandwick Australia:
Rachel Vidaic – Business Director
Joey Gan – Senior Account Manager
Ellen Budgell-Price – Account Manager

Will Koukouras – National Director of Sport & Entertainment
Patrick van Breugel – Partnerships Manager of Sport & Entertainment

DEPT Australia:
Jessica White – VP, Creative & Media
Brad Stevens – Executive Creative Director
Sam McGraw – Account Director

Spark Foundry Australia:
Joshua Green – Strategy Director
Natali Kakovska – Client Partner
Emma Castino – Client Director

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