Ancestry.com Experiences Backlash

Ancestry.com recently released an ad that attempted to romanticize the reason why so many black Americans have white ancestry. After considerable backlash, the ad was pulled from television and removed from YouTube. You can read more about the ad’s specifics here. A spokesperson from the company states that the ad was intended to represent an important story from history. However, many viewers were disturbed at the obvious lack of involvement from any people of color in the creation of the ad. The company refuses to disclose how many, if any, African Americans were used in creating, editing or testing the commercial. (AdWeek, 04.19.19)

This latest tone-deaf ad is another example of the importance of ad testing. There are many advantages of testing ads, including answering questions like: Does our target understand our message? Do our messages resonate? Is our target more likely to visit/purchase after viewing the ad? Would a different message be more successful?

Sure, national backlash is not typically at stake—but there’s always value in listening to what your target audience thinks. If you’re interested in learning more about H2R’s Ad Testing or other research options, give us a call at 417.877.7808 or contact us here.