23andMe wants you to get screened for health information

The new campaign that uses influencers is built around the insight that 80% of people receive meaningful health information from a DNA test.

Many people seek DNA tests to understand more about their ancestors. But did you know that eight out of 10 people get meaningful information about their health from these tests, too?

23andMe wants to share that insight with the world in its first integrated campaign since the pandemic. Created with Deutsch LA, the spot aims to raise awareness around the fact that DNA kits can be extremely useful to take preventative health measures. 

For instance, people can find out if they are genetically predisposed to type 2 diabetes, migraines, kidney stones, high blood pressure and other health complications based on their DNA report, said Tracy Keim, VP of consumer marketing and brand at 23andMe.

“You can monitor, take these reports to your doctor and prevent [illness] over time,” she said. 

The idea came from years of collecting real customer stories about people who have been inspired to take preventative health measures based on their 23andMe report.

“We've collected thousands of stories from people who have written in to say. ‘This is life changing, you've helped me prevent disease. You've saved my life,’” Keim said.

The time was right for 23andMe to go wide with a message about health because it’s top of mind for everyone since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The healthcare industry has changed so much with COVID, and people are looking to get their data and information and take control,” Keim said.

The campaign launches with a 30-second spot depicting people taking control of their health, thanks to 23andMe reports. One man at risk for celiac disease and type 2 diabetes eats healthy food, for instance, while a woman predisposed to heart conditions goes for a jog.

The vignettes are based on real customer stories, which 23andMe will continue to collect and share on social media as the campaign progresses throughout the year. The company is also bringing in influencers to share their own experiences with sample 23andMe DNA kits, and how having that information helps them protect their health.

“It’s a call to action to take control of your health and inspire people that this is not a fad,” Keim said. “This is scientifically important information.”

This is 23andMe’s first major campaign since the outbreak of COVID-19, and its first brand campaign focused on health. In the past, most of the brand’s messaging was educational.

During COVID, 23andMe took a break from advertising to focus helping the world emerge from crisis. That resulted in proprietary research on COVID-19, as well as the most comprehensive paper of its kind on the African-American slave trade, based on genetic data, that came out during the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of 2020.  

The campaign was produced under a tight timeline, because 23andMe wanted to understand consumer sentiment after the Delta variant spiked over the summer. The brand worked with Omnicom Group agency Sparks & Honey to evaluate cultural sentiment before going live.

“We’re a health brand, so for us, it’s privacy first and safety first,” Keim said. “For all brands right now, there is still a sensitivity. We want to make sure we're a part of the solution and we're authentically advertising how we can help people.” 

This story first appeared on campaignlive.com. 

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