Editor’s note 2/6/2013: Pending an FDA decision, 23andMe no longer offers new customers access to health reports referred to in this post. Customers who received their health information prior to November 22, 2013 will still be able to see their health reports, but those who purchased after that time will only have access to ancestry information as well as access to their uninterpreted raw data. These new customers may receive health reports in the future dependent on FDA marketing authorization.
Today is a day of firsts: It’s the kick-off of 23andMe’s first-ever TV ad campaign, which also happens to be the first time that any personal genetics company has aired this kind of health-focused commercial on television.
This is all new stuff and the commercials are meant to do more than just introduce 23andMe to a wider audience.
“Our goal with this campaign is to provide consumer education and raise awareness about the potential of personal genetics, while also establishing 23andMe as a recognized and trusted brand,” said Andy Page, president of 23andMe.
We want to use the ads to show people the power of exploring their own DNA, while emphasizing that it can also be fun and interesting.
The campaign is called Portraits of Health and each commercial features people talking about what they’ve learned by looking at their own results. Like a lot of our customers, they discovered such things as unknown ancestry, or how they got curly hair or blue eyes. And some have learned important information about their health, information that they can use to prevent or manage their risks for certain conditions.
We’ve been around long enough that we’ve heard before from customers about how interesting and, in some cases, profound their experience with 23andMe can be. We’ve had people who have gained critical information about their health and we’ve seen how that information has had a huge impact on their lives.
These ads are meant to convey some of that — to impart some of the power and wonder of exploring your own genetics. The ads feature actors who are also 23andMe customers. Their stories are real and offer real insight into how using their results helped them take control over their own health.
If there’s an overall message it’s that personal genetics will become an integral part of the future of health care, and 23andMe wants to empower people by putting access to their own genetic information into their own hands.
We want you to hear that message, so over the next couple of weeks we’ll put up the ads and give you a little more background on each story.