Ancestry digs into Canada’s history with CBC

Details on the brand stepping into branded vignettes with the pubcaster.
canadaTheStoryofUs has signed on with the CBC’s Canada: The Story of Us for a partnership that digs into the backgrounds of some of Canada’s most-prominent personalities.

Canada: The Story of Us is part of the CBC’s slate of Canada 150 programming. It’s a 10-part docu-drama series that highlights the people and moments that helped to forge the country, from early Indigenous history to the 20th century.

During the run of the series, online family history database will lead into one commercial break with a 90-second vignette that explores the history of some of the Canadian celebrities who feature in the series, such as Susan Aglukark, Wendy Crewson, Sarah Gadon, Mike Holmes, Missy Peregrym, Jennifer Podemski and Mary Walsh.

Nico Bryant-Aguilar, senior manager for Canada with, said that the brand began looking ahead and planning its integration around the Canada 150 milestone in late 2015, seeing it as a perfect opportunity to make more noise in the market. The brand worked with OMD on the CBC deal.

“Digging into the family history of celebrities works well from a PR point of view, so we had quite a bit of confidence in that format,” he said. “But the vignette idea attached to programming is something we weren’t as sure about,” as the brand is used to  owning more of the broadcast time within its show partners, as it does with its U.S. partnership with TLC’s Who Do You Think You Are? “So we wanted to align with the content that people were seeing on TV.” has also been active elsewhere in the Canadian market recently, partnering with shows like Bell Media’s The Social and Our Morning, getting the hosts of those shows to use the Ancestry DNA product and discovery more about their backgrounds.

The amount of media spend that the brand devotes to sponsorships varies by the quarter, said Dwayne Mataseje, associate director of broadcast, OMD Canada.

Canada: The Story of Us launches with a two-hour premiere event on March 26 at 8 p.m.