23andMe Has New Personal Genetics Pitch From Arnold N.Y.

New account at agency

Better to know your genetic fate or not? In a campaign breaking this week for 23andMe, a California-based personal genetics company, Arnold New York argues in favor of testing as a way for people to make more proactive health decisions.

Neil Rothstein, vp marketing at 23andMe, said the campaign’s objective is to have consumers realize that knowing the consequences of their DNA is more powerful than any fears about what they might find out. A subtext in the TV spot is “Change what you can. Manage what you can’t.”

Rothstein explained: “We’re targeting people who want to be in control of their health. That’s a mindset that cuts across age groups, demographics, gender.”

That's apparent in Arnold’s "Portraits of Health" campaign, which uses a range of people who discuss their real 23andMe results, visualized as graphics. This is the company’s first TV advertising, which is a national buy with commercials seen primarily on cable.

23andMe, which first launched its consumer offerings in 2007, provides personalized reports about genetic risk factors for various health conditions, reports about how a person’s DNA influences their response to certain medications and their physical traits and information about genetic ancestry. New head of marketing Rothstein joined the company last September, after 11 years at Netflix. In June, Andy Page, a 23andMe board member who was previously president of online luxury shopping site Gilt Groupe, was named president of the company, reporting to company CEO and co-founder Anne Wojcicki, a biotechnology investor.

The account is new to Arnold, which won the business in March to become 23andMe’s first agency, after a review. The company said it plans to spend up to $5 million on media in 2013 and expects to increase that investment next year.

The account win is the latest since Robert LePlae was named Arnold’s global CEO in January. Those additions include Del Monte Foods’ Milk-Bone, Santander credit cards, Avocados from Mexico and digital work like Volvo Cars of North America, Nexxus and CVS, which the agency landed last month.