23andMe As Seen on TV

This Is Me

Editor’s note: 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.


  • Sharon Hutchinson

    How does someone go about getting this done? Is it costly?

    Thank you

    • ScottH

      You go online to http://www.23andMe.com. Go to the store page. Order the kit. It costs $99. When it arrives, be sure to register your specific bar code number so we can process your results. There are pretty clear instructions about how you give your saliva sample once you get the kit. Once completed, send your kit back to us in the pre-paid packaging provided. You get an email once it arrives at the lab. While there your sample is DNA is extracted and processed. The data is eventually uploaded and we send you an email when your results are ready. You sign in to your account and you can see your results online.

      • Leo Langlois

        How much detail do you provide. I suspect very little at the outset, and then mete it out at $100 a pop, once you have the client hooked. N’est ce pas.

        • ScottH

          Leo, No that’s not how it works.
          We have one product that is included in one price of $99. If you’d like to see more of what you get here’s a link to sign up for a demo account. The demo will give you a sense of how the site works, the various health, traits and ancestry features we have and give you a sense of how the site works.

        • J. Mortimer

          A few days late, but in case anyone else pops in: I’m a customer, not staff, and I’ll stick my hand up say a) I’m happy with level of detail provided b) think the price is well worth it.

          After your $99 outset there aren’t any other fees at all. For people with limited medical/biological knowledge, the website does a reasonable job at presenting and explaining information in accessible ways. And for the geeks like me, the technical reports include some citations.

          *shrugs* I share a lab with a molecular biologists research group; if international shipping wasn’t so horrific I think a good proportion of them would buy kits.

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