ORLANDO — If there is one kind of publisher that knows a lot about people, it must be a genealogy site.

Ancestry lists more than 20 million members, all desperate to build connections with relatives – living, deceased or as-yet unknown. It’s all about reducing the boundaries between people.

But there is another kind of boundary Ancestry is keen to smash down – the one that separates tactics in a marketing strategy.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Ancestry global CMO Vineet Mehra says: “I keep hearing this debate around ‘brand’ versus ‘performance’ (marketing). In my opinion, there’s no debate. You need to be able to do both.”

Mehra echoes an emerging view in the industry – that, whilst historic technical limitations around media types shaped their use for distinct tactical uses by marketers, new capabilities compel brands to use all the tools at their disposal.

Case in point – Mehra describes how Ancestry, which is a heavy spender on TV ads, really uses many different kinds of TV capabilities…

  • Television: “There’s still no better vehicle to gain reach and frequency very quickly than broad scale TV and video. It does a tremendous job of positioning our brand, of giving it a home in the minds of consumers, differentiating the brand versus competition and it just does a great job doing that.”
  • Video: “As we go lower down the funnel in video with mid-funnel video and YouTube and things like that, that plays an amazing role because it has a lot of the same objectives as TV, but it works great for lead generation. So the beauty of digital videos, you know exactly who’s watching, how long they’re watching. We can collect those names and we can retarget them later.”
  • Addressable TV: “You’re going to see more and more of our spend in video going into addressable TV, mid funnel digital video, which can solve a lot of the same problems we’ve tried to solve on TV, but in much more attributable, addressable ways.”

Ancestry is also noteworthy for its content marketing strategy, putting out what Mehra says is “hundreds of new pieces of content every month”, including big global TV formats like Who Do You Think You Are? but also lo-fi single-camera family stories.

The output goes all the way back up to “tent-pole” campaigns like Declaration Descendants, for which a creative agency as commissioned.

This series “Growing Brands and Driving Results,” was produced at the ANA Masters in Marketing ’18 conference in Orlando. The series is sponsored by the FreeWheel Council for Premium Video. Please find additional coverage here.