With Focus on ‘Origin’ Stories Ancestry Turns Back Time With NRL Sponsorship

The campaign, created with  DEPT, communicates the power of DNA testing and connects it to the Australian National Rugby League’s passionate fan base.


Family history brand, Ancestry, has announced the inaugural partnership with Ampol State of Origin 2024.

Titled ‘Discover your Origin’, the collaboration marks an initiative that will see Ancestry not only delve into the deep roots of well-known Australian rugby league players this season but also highlights its slate of DNA product offerings.

The campaign, created with DEPT, communicates the power of DNA testing and connects it to the Australian National Rugby League’s passionate fan base.


It features social content and access to talent, including  State of Origin players Tom Trbojevic and Ben Hunt. Ancestry will uncover the origins of the players’ DNA, revealing the people and places from their past, along with some quirky traits, all highlighting how ancestral discovery can resonate with any audience and inspire viewers to embark on their exploration.

According to the campaign, the concept drew inspiration from Michel Gondry’s music videos for bands such as Daft Punk and The White Stripes, which often showcase sequences of backward-moving time, adding a surreal and captivating quality to his work. The campaign features AI-enhanced visuals, including an 80s-style lounge room, where the past and present intersect.

DEPT and Ancestry leveraged artificial intelligence (AI) to supercharge production efficiencies. AI not only added depth to frames but also facilitated voice-over recording. Multiple options were generated, allowing for a perfect match between visuals, sounds, and brand identity.


“DEPT really took on the challenge of embracing heritage but powering it with innovation,” said James Walmsley, Head of Marketing Australia and New Zealand at Ancestry.

“The use of AI to create the imagery and voice-over in this campaign was a great example of how to use this technology in a way that enhances creativity. We couldn’t be more happy with the collaboration with DEPT and their innovative spirit.”

Brad Stevens, Executive Creative Director at DEPT added “What I love about DEPT is our constant pursuit of new ways to solve our clients’ problems. With this particular brief, we were lucky to have an ambitious client willing to embrace technology to tackle the challenge: connecting the past to the future, and doing it in a very short turnaround.”

The campaign is live today and will be amplified across all screens including TV, VOD, and social. The partnership was facilitated by Publicis Sport & Entertainment with campaign strategy by media agency, Spark Foundry Australia and Creative Development by DEPT Australia.



  • James Walmsley – Head of Marketing
  • Sinead Bushell – Marketing Manager
  • Nozi Bhebhe – Marketing Manager

National Rugby League:

  • Caroline Yuen – General Manager Partnerships
  • Sophie Wills – Partnership Manager
  • Joshua Bell – Digital Commercial Executive

Weber Shandwick Australia:

  • Rachel Vidaic – Business Director
  • Joey Gan – Senior Account Manager
  • Ellen Budgell-Price – Account Manager


  • Will Koukouras – National Director of Sport & Entertainment
  • Patrick van Breugel – Partnerships Manager of Sport & Entertainment

DEPT Australia:

  • Jessica White – VP, Creative & Media
  • Brad Stevens – Executive Creative Director
  • Sam McGraw – Account Director

Spark Foundry Australia:

  • Joshua Green – Strategy Director
  • Natali Kakovska – Client Partner
  • Emma Castino – Client Director


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