Exposing the Power Moves Behind’s Record-Breaking Ad Campaign!

Exposing the Power Moves Behind’s Record-Breaking Ad Campaign!

Unlocking the Master Tactics and Proven Strategies that Turned a Simple Ad into a Blockbuster Hit

Published by: Team AdSkills
January 4, 2024

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Let's talk about how the advertising game has changed big time in our digital world. You know, those ads that make you go, "Wow, that's clever!"? They're not just cool to look at; they're a big deal in the marketing playbook.

Guess what?

There's this one type of ad that's really shaking things up – direct placement advertisements.

In this episode of The Edge, we're going all detective mode on's ad campaign. Yep, the big shots in the family tree and history digging business. They've done some pretty slick advertising over on, and trust me, that's a website with a ton of eyeballs on it every day.

Now, whether you're running a small shop, you're an ad pro, or just dipping your toes into the digital marketing pool, this blog post is like finding a hidden gem. It's packed with stuff you'll want to know.

So, grab your favorite drink, get comfortable and let's get ready to up your digital ad skills.


You should be! Let's get started!'s Choice of Platform:

Alright folks, let's chat for a moment about where you're throwing out your ads. It's like choosing the right bait for fishing. You can have the best fishing rod, but without the right bait, you're not catching anything, right? Today, let's look at, and their choice of fishing spot - isn't just any kiddie fish pool. It's more like the ocean full of different kinds of fish swimming around every day. We're talking millions of people worldwide. Massive, right? This is what was angling for when they picked — a huge crowd to draw in.

But, it's not just about having a ton of people in one place. It's about who those people are. Luckily, CNN's crowd is pretty smart, staying in the loop, keeping up with world events. Sound like anyone else you know? Yeah, those are the same folks is trying to reach — people keen on digging into the roots of their personal story.

Plus, most visitors are folks in their 30s or 40s. These are people who are pretty settled, probably started families, and might start to get jumpy thinking about family heritage. The perfect catch for

And hey, let's not forget, isn't just some random website. It's a place a lot of people trust to get their news. By planting their ad right there, is basically saying: "You trust CNN, so you can trust us too."

The Native Style Placement: Blending Advertisement with Content

Ever walked into a room and noticed how some pieces of furniture just seem to belong, like they were made for that space? That's exactly what did with their ad on – instead of sticking out like a sore thumb, their ad looked perfectly at home. Folks in marketing call this a "native ad".

Now I know what you're asking. What's a native ad?

Here's the lowdown:

It's an ad that fits in so smoothly with the content around it that you might not even spot it at first glance. It's got the same look, the same feel and it slides in like butter, all without interrupting your experience.

The thing with regular ads is that they can look like party crashers. They're the ones who show up, uninvited, to a party that they weren't invited to, sometimes killing the vibe. Nobody likes interruptions, right? But our buddy, they knew better. They made sure their ad was the life of the party.

And don't get this wrong; being a chameleon doesn't mean it's hiding. Nope. The ad still gets its job done, catching eyes and drawing people towards the brand. It's like someone casually starting a conversation at the party that gets everyone interested.

What's even cooler about's ad is it has an extra layer of 'nativeness'. It's not just dressed up like the rest of the content, it also lives on the platform. When you click on it, you're not thrown abroad; you stay right within It's like being invited into another cool room at the same party.

Bringing it all together, really knew their game when they played their cards with this native ad. They not only showed up but showed up fitting right into And let's be real, everyone loves a guest who knows how to blend in and still steal the show. That, my friends, is ad genius at work.

The Ad Format and Design

We've seen where placed their ad, but what about the looks of it? In the world of online advertising, looks matter, and’s ad is like the belle of the ball. They didn't just throw up a random banner with loads of text. They went for a style that's easy on the eyes and grabs attention.

First, let's talk about the headline.

They kept it short, sweet, and clear. That's exactly the secret sauce in an ad that gets noticed. People don't have time to decipher cryptic headlines. They see it, they get it, they're intrigued. That's what you want.

Next up, the images. used a large, pretty image showing off the product. Think of it like a shiny billboard on a highway, only it's not blinding drivers; it's showing internet surfers something they can't ignore. Seeing actual products gives people something tangible to connect with, and that's what was aiming for.

As for the layout, it was like a well-planned meetup. Everything was placed perfectly. The call to action was front and center, not buried where viewers have to squint their eyes to find it. No wild goose chase here. It's like being handed the treasure map with a giant 'X' marking the spot.’s ad is like a well-dressed guest at a party, catching your eye from the moment you walk in. It looks good, feels good, and leaves a lasting impression. That's how you design an ad to stand out in all the right ways.

Effective Use of Discounts in the Ad

Remember that shiny billboard image we talked about? Well, there was more to it—a juicy deal, an exciting discount. And I hear you asking, "What's such a big deal about discounts?" Well, plenty!

Imagine walking into your favorite store and seeing those magical signs saying "Half Off," or "Buy One Get One." Feels like hitting the jackpot, right?

That's exactly the kind of joy, excitement, and urgency that wanted to create with their DNA promotion.

How's $59 for a peek into your ancestry? Sounds like a pretty sweet deal, doesn't it?

That's how lures you into exploring your roots without thinking too hard about your wallet. It's like they're saying, "Hey, jump into the past and let's make it a deal that's hard to say no to.”

Discounts are like irresistible bait for customers.

They tick all the right boxes - who wouldn't want to save some cash, right? And knows their game well. But just a heads up, you don't always see luxury brands offering discounts. They play the demand-supply game a bit differently. But They are all about giving folks the best bang for their buck.

Crafting Compelling Ad Copy

We've all heard this before: there's more to something than meets the eye.

Same goes for's ad.

It doesn't just look fantastic, but once you start reading, it's like a can't-put-down mystery book. And how do they hook you like that? With top-notch ad copy.

It’s no easy task, though. Think about your own online browsing habits. Do you stop and read every ad you come across? No, you’re too busy for that. Guess what? So is everybody else. And that’s why knew they had to ditch the fluff and get to the point.

What does so brilliantly is tell you upfront what they're all about, what their product can do, and how it can help you dive into your personal history. It's clear, crisp and concise, and before you know it, you're imagining tracing back your ancestry and getting to know your long-lost relatives.

And apart from just the product, the ad copy also adds flavor to the Ancestry brand itself, giving readers a taste of who they are as a company. It's like a sneak peek behind the curtain of what stands for and what you'd be signing up for when you jump onto their ship.

So remember, when crafting an ad, don't just focus on the looks. Dig a little deeper, craft your words wisely because compelling copy can turn casual browsers into potential customers.

Leveraging Holiday Sales and Promotions

What if I told you they also had some perfectly timed holiday cheer up their sleeve? When it comes to promotions, shows us how the holiday season can amp up your ad game.

Think about it.

When the holidays roll around, what do you feel like doing? Probably curling up with a hot cocoa, a cozy blanket, and maybe even exploring your family roots, don't you think? knew exactly how to tap into this holiday spirit.

Their ad ran from November 28th through December 31st, right in the heart of the holiday season. This wasn't just about timing though. It was about tapping into that warm, fuzzy holiday magic when people are eager to connect and explore their family bonds. It's festive, it's exciting and – you guessed it – it ramps up the charm of that sweet discount we talked about.

Just like decking the halls, a timely holiday promotion can crank the attraction level of your ad up to 11.’s strategy ticks the box of harnessing the holiday rush, all while creating a sense of excitement that screams, "Hurry, grab this deal while it lasts!"

So, when planning your marketing calendar, remember to sprinkle in some holiday magic. It might just be the secret sauce that takes your promo from cool to can't-miss-it level of awesome! So full marks to for leveraging the holiday vibes. They didn't just light up the tree; they lit up their ad, too!

Integrating Sponsored Content Seamlessly

Here’s another trick used: seamless integration of sponsored content!

Don't mistake this for some boring billboard ad. Instead, think of it as a mini adventure within your browsing experience that blends so seamlessly into the background, it feels like a natural part of the content you came for.

In the ad on CNN, when you see the note about "other sponsored content," it's like a 'wink wink' from them. They're saying, "Got your attention with our offer? Guess what, we've got more for you, and it's just a click away!"

And this click doesn't take users to some far-off land; they stay right there on CNN's website, engaging with different articles and stories tied to Ancestry's brand. It's like going from one rocking party room to another, without having to hop over to a new address.

Turning again to our party analogy, these pieces of sponsored content are like friendly party guests adding more fun to the event. They grab your attention, engage you more deeply and make you want to stick around a bit longer. Boom! More engagement, more time spent on CNN's site.

Not only does include these nuggets of sponsored content, but they also do so effortlessly, enhancing rather than distracting from the overall user experience.

So, when weaving sponsored content into your ads, think of They take a smooth, user-friendly approach—the key to engaging users deeper, longer, better. Who knew sponsored content could be this cool and casual, right?

Wrap up

So there you have it. A closer look at’s killer ad on Just think of it as a masterstroke in the art of digital advertising. And while the specifics of our exploration centered around, the principles and strategies we've dissected can apply to any business, big or small.

So what's the secret sauce behind a great digital ad campaign? Let's recap:

  • Choosing the right platform is crucial. Just remember, it's all about getting in front of the right eyes.
  • The power of native style placements cannot be underestimated. Don't be the party crasher; aim to blend in smoothly.
  • A well-designed ad is a winner. Keep it visually appealing, and don't forget clarity in your messaging.
  • Discounts are a powerful magnet. They attract eyes and convert casual browsers into eager buyers.
  • Compelling ad copy is key. It's the hook that keeps the readers engaged.
  • Leverage holiday promotions. Seasonal deals capture attention and can increase user engagement.
  • Seamless integration of sponsored content can be a game-changer. It keeps users on the website for longer, increasing the chance of conversions.

Digital advertising is a continually evolving landscape, and sometimes, success comes from the most surprising strategies. So don't just follow the path well-traveled, dare to experiment, dare to forge your own way.

As they say in the world of advertising, it's not about who did it first, but who did it right. And in the case of, they certainly nailed it.

And with that, I'm signing off, folks. Jason Stogsdill here, hoping you found this deep dive helpful and insightful. Until the next time we decode another stellar digital ad campaign, keep learning, keep experimenting, and keep pushing boundaries!