Australians everywhere stop what they’re doing at 11am on 11 November and dedicate a minute’s silence to those who died in war. To mark the centenary of the Armistice that ended World War I (1914-1918), Ancestry offered 100 hours of free access to all Australian and New Zealand military records on its site as well as select UK military collections. The goal of the campaign was to inspire curiosity and engagement with family WWI connections.
We wanted to measure how much the average Australian understood about Remembrance Day and its traditions. This uncovered a generational knowledge gap.
The team executed an integrated campaign comprised of three components. In partnership with Decibel, research highlighted Australia’s blind spots around this historic day. The research revealed that more than a third (39 per cent) of those under 35 didn’t know why a minute’s silence is observed and a quarter (24 per cent) were unaware of what the iconic poppy represents. The second strategy focused on a broadcast piece in partnership with Medals Gone Missing. Through this we were able to find David Hedron, a Blue Mountains man directly descended from the medal’s original owner, Major Bertram Lawrence Hedron. This precious piece of family history was given back to him. We also worked with Ancestry and the Australian War Memorial to develop a collection of historic images profiling the women of WWI. This gallery was designed to inspire curiosity and steer Australians towards learning more about their family wartime connections ahead of Remembrance Day.
The campaign landed more than 100 pieces of media coverage with a total reach of 16.8 million. The research attracted radio and print media coverage, with several spinoff articles generating additional metro news media coverage across Australia. The Hedron family story was broadcast nationally across Channel 9 and featured a clear call to action around Ancestry’s free trial period. The segment aired multiple times and syndicated across 43 additional outlets in Australia. The Guardian published the image collection as an exclusive listicle, underscoring the important relationship between Ancestry and the Australian War Memorial.