Bold Marketing: Travel Website Dares Customers with DNA Testing

The next time you’re facing a challenge that doesn’t have an obvious marketing answer, remember travel company momondo.

They came up with a terrific idea that wasn’t in any typical marketing playbook.

Credit: momondo

Credit: momondo

momondo partnered with an ancestry DNA testing service and created a poignant, emotional, and riveting video about people finding out who they really are – with surprise results, of course.

The powerful marketing idea? People will want to explore and learn more about their true ancestry and heritage.

Credit: momondo

Credit: momondo

The DNA marketing campaign fits with momondo’s positioning and mission:

“momondo was founded on the belief that everybody should be able to travel the world, to meet other people, and experience other cultures and religions. Travel opens our minds: when we experience something different, we begin to see things differently.”

“In the end it is all about people. Bringing people to exchange new ideas and share genuine stories. There is nothing like being there looking each other in the eye.”

According to Adweek: “Because the videos tout a travel company, they tie in with an ongoing Momondo contest that invites folks to take DNA tests. The grand prize, worth about $17,000, is a trip to all the countries from which they originate, and runners-up will be sent to one of the countries in their DNA chains.”

(Video Production Note. “The participants in the video are actors and extras Momondo found through casting agencies. But each one actually had their DNA tested and their reactions to their results were “spontaneous.” Source: momondo email statement to Today. Okay, I’ll give momondo some creative license on that.)


At the end of the video, the moderators ask the participants if they would like to travel to “all these places” of their ancestry. The “hell yeah” responses are genuine and believable.

Here’s a winning recipe: marketing that’s on-strategy, captivates the audience, elicits an authentic reaction, and includes a call-to-action for the company’s products or services. Well done momondo.


Harvey Chimoff is a versatile marketing and business team leader who believes good marketing sells. Contact him at StratGo Marketing, a “nuts and bolts” strategic marketing resource.

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