Keeping the Lotto dream alive

Fresh off the back of winning Gold in the Sustained Success category at the 2022 Effie Aotearoa Awards for their ‘Imagine’ brand platform, Lotto NZ and agency partner DDB Group Aotearoa explain why it’s been so effective.

While in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, a team from Lotto NZ and DDB Group Aotearoa traipsed down to Wanaka in search of some snow to shoot the latest iteration of the brand’s platform ‘Imagine’ which is set in Antarctica. Upon arrival they discovered there was one slight problem. There was no snow.

Not to be disheartened, they found a snow park that would become their set and, working together as one isolated ‘bubble’, they began to shoot what has become the ‘On Ice’ campaign.

This campaign is the latest in the ever-evolving ‘Imagine’ series which began in 2015 with ‘Pirate Ship’, followed by ‘Mum’s Wish’, ‘Armoured Truck’ and ‘Lost’.

‘On Ice’ tells the story of a group of Kiwi researchers working in Antarctica who go in on a lotto ticket together, spending their days dreaming of what they might do if they were to win, and ending on a cliff hanger as the friends check their numbers.

Another layer of excitement was added when Lotto NZ revealed there was indeed an ending to the story, but Kiwis would have to unlock it by heading to the website where they could also go in the draw to win $50,000 worth of prizes.

The  website allowed people to explore the base where the four researchers in the story spent their winter taking the audience on their own research journey, interacting with objects in the base, some of which helped them to unlock the ending.

The ‘Imagine’ platform has now been recognised for its sustained success at the 2022 Effie Aotearoa Awards. But what exactly is it that makes this long-running platform so effective?

“Anticipation, emotion, excitement, drama,” says Annemarie Browne, Lotto NZ’s Chief Marketing Officer.

It’s also time, consistency and good data adds Rupert Price, Chief Strategy Officer at DDB Group Aotearoa, Lotto NZ’s agency partner.

“[The platform has] been around since 2015 and still going strong which is amazing. Often in marketing we are guilty of chopping and changing too much and reinventing things.”

With each new chapter in the series, the Lotto NZ and DDB team make sure each execution is better than the last and that each story builds on the previous one.

“It’s that momentum and talkability the campaign creates that’s linked to its success. We have managed to get the right balance between dreaming, inspiration and wanting to play in a way that feels connected, grounded and relevant. It’s not completely fantastical or exaggerated to the point of disbelief, everyone can see themselves in every story and say, ‘that could be me, maybe’.”

The longevity of the campaign also gives the platform an advantage, Annemarie says, “because you are starting with your customers already intrinsically having trust, relevance and understanding”.

“From an effectiveness perspective, creatively it allows you to stretch it further because you don’t have to do so much set-up. Immediately people relate it to Lotto, so all those good values from your previous campaigns come with it.”

Making sure that Lotto NZ has a positive association attached to it is also important, while making sure it’s not overhyped, she adds.

“We want it to be something that the average Kiwi might play a little bit and have some fun.”

Keeping it relatable is another key factor says Rupert. “When you ask people what they would do if they won lotto, they will tell you about the people they want to help first, whether it’s their kids, relatives, friends, even in some cases people they don’t know, they just want to help the community.”

That’s why the theme of helping each other out is consistently threaded throughout the platform.

“We are always trying to tell the stories that make people feel good about people and how we look after each other.”

Creative and emotions aside, the key to proving a campaign is effective ultimately comes down to data
Rupert says.

“Lotto NZ have really good data. Being a public body, measurement is everything. Annemarie has some pretty tough stakeholders that she has to be accountable to, so making sure we can prove that what we are doing
is working and effective is incredibly important and great data is the
essence of that.”

Although it might sound like a contradiction, Rupert says, it’s about finding the balance between consistency and keeping it fresh.

After all, Lotto NZ is an entertainment brand, Annemarie says, so its marketing should also be entertaining.

“We want you to always be a little bit surprised and for there to always be a bit of a twist and drama which is always difficult in short form. The team do an amazing job at making sure we thread that through. Every time we make one the next question is how do we make it better?”

Introducing the ‘tittles’ – Powerball Jackpot’s refreshed retail campaign

The revitalised creative introduces Kiwis to the two Powerball dots in 3D and with arms, legs and very
big personalities.

This creative plays an important role in getting lotto players to purchase tickets and while still consistent with the brand platform ‘Imagine’, offers a more flexible asset that can be adapted and made relevant and of the day.

With Lotto’s Powerball Jackpot creative appearing on screen every single day, it was time for a refresh.

“The minute you see it you know it’s Lotto. We have added a bit more humour and personality.

“We have immediately seen from the launch of that campaign a lift in sales. It’s about the excitement of driving you to buy a ticket, versus ‘Imagine’ which is trying to keep that dream alive in the customer journey,” says Annemarie.

   This article was originally published in the Dec/Jan 2022/23 issue of NZ MarketingClick here to subscribe.

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About Bernadette Basagre

Bernadette is a content writer across SCG Business titles, The Register and Idealog. To get in touch with her, email [email protected].

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