It all began with one man – Samuel Moss Solomon. He was the father of Emmanuel and Vaiben Solomon, brothers who were transported to Australia after being charged with stealing some clothes.
Fast forward 194 years and the Solomons have left a significant mark on this country. A classic story of a ‘convict made good’, Emmanuel Solomon was a member of parliament, a philanthropist and benefactor to the arts. His descendants have also had a strong impact on the history of Australia, with one nephew holding the record for the shortest stint (one week) as Premier of South Australia and then going on to become one of the founding fathers of Darwin. Another descendant helped write the Australian constitution, five fought in Gallipoli, and one perished on the Titanic.
On March 10-12, 2012, a reunion of the Solomons and associated families took place in Melbourne. The organisers credited Ancestry.com.au for helping them to build their extensive family tree and the reason they were able to find and contact so many family members. Brad Argent, content director, Ancestry.com.au was invited to speak at the reunion.
The Howorth team wanted to share the Solomon’s story and build mainstream interest family history category in general. Given that Monday was a public holiday in Melbourne, and there was the potential for media interest to be light, the team pre-pitched the story as an exclusive to Channel 7’s Sunrise and followed up with a media alert which was issued to local Melbourne media.
In total, 108 pieces of TV, radio, print and online coverage were achieved from this campaign with a reach of over 1.7M impressions.
- Brad Argent, Ancestry was interviewed on Sunrise along with other members of the Solomon family. The piece was also re-played nationally on Channel 7’s 4:30pm News
- Brad was also interviewed by Channel 7’s 6pm News who also attended and covered the reunion
- The Age came to the reunion and spoke with family members
- The event organiser, Jenny Cowen, was also interviewed on Radio National Breakfast the morning of the event.
Capitalising on the interest and broad media attention surrounding the 2010 Australian Federal Election, Ancestry.com.au set the Howorth Digital Lifestyle team the challenge to find an opportunity to get the family history website into the 2010 election debate.
We immediately spotted a powerful media opportunity to unearth the findings of family history research into the two main 2010 Federal Election candidates. Our research revealed the news that, for the first time in over 87 years, Australia’s elected Prime Minister would not be Australian born, with both Gillard and Abbott both from the UK.
Working closely with the Ancestry.com.au team to pitch this unique insight to the media, we negotiated an exclusive opportunity with Channel Nine’s Today Show. This was followed by special briefings with print and radio, with many interviews conducted under embargo.
The campaign highlighted the real reward brands can reap by exploiting a topical news issue, and taking ownership of it by interjecting it with a related brand-owned insight. The story generated:
- Over 44 stories across national radio, television, print and online reaching more than 3.4 million Australians.
- Highlights included a five minute live-to-air TV interview on Australia’s highest rating morning show, the Today Show.
The team also secured a full page feature article in The Daily Telegraph and an 18 minute interview with 2GB Radio in Sydney.
Wills and Kate’s Royal Wedding saw many brands trying to jump on the magic in order to drive media traction. Our challenge was to create a differentiated voice for the Ancestry brand, and one that would cut through the clutter, delivering a tangible business return i.e. site traffic and subscriptions – not just be ‘publicity for publicity’s sake’.
We set about theming our story around the real number of Royal Weddings i.e. the number of Australians that had a direct correlation to royalty through their ancestry. Partnering with the Innovations Team at News.com.au, we challenged the nation to reveal the real royal ties in their family tree.
The team opened up the Ancestry.com.au marriage indexes on the site, which drove widespread reach and visibility, as well as delivering site trial and subscriptions. To kick-start the launch, we leveraged research and case studies to drive a story targeting weekend news cycles one week prior to Wedding Day.
The results showed what a solid media strategy can deliver when it meets a global cultural phenomenon with a differentiated brand storytelling twist. This one-off media drive generated:
- Over 71 pieces of branded coverage across all media channels – radio, print and television
- 15 radio interviews were generated with an Ancestry.com.au spokesperson
Keystone coverage was placed in leading Australian titles such as : Sunrise, Sunday Telegraph, News.com.au, Adelaide Now, 2GB, 2UE and ABC 702.