Known for her work on the brands’ powerfully emotive campaigns, Annemarie Browne, Lotto NZ’s Chief Marketing Officer, has joined the region’s most influential and purposeful marketers on the Asia-Pacific Power List 2022. She speaks with NZ Marketing about the work that contributed to her recognition, how New Zealand and Lotto NZ has evolved over the years, and doing the right thing for Kiwis.
From the extended ‘Imagine’ campaign including the film featuring two delivery drivers who go halves on a big win, to ‘Imagine on Ice’ the story of a group of Kiwi Lotto players in Antarctica who let their imagination run wild, there is no doubt that Annemarie’s talent lies in brand storytelling.
It was perhaps this strength that also got Lotto NZ through the pandemic and, due to its impactful ‘emotional over rational’ narrative, meant the brand transitioned smoothly online.
This resulted in an 89 percent increase in online sales and the highest sales in the brands history in 2020.
Annemarie says being included in the list was “incredibly surprising” and credits her team, their longstanding agency partner DDB and all the people who contribute to putting together the media and creative, for the brands success.
“We are a really unique product because essentially we sell you a piece of paper or just a little image of a piece of paper on your phone or on the website…Really what we are selling is imagination and dreams and the possibility of something happening.
“We have found over the years our best creative is when it’s really embedded in a human truth that our players can really relate to.”
And this is why the campaigns often highlight the excitement and drama – because that is what it’s like to win Lotto she says.
“New Zealanders love to hear the stories of the winners. They are so happy to see it won by someone who genuinely deserves it, so we always try to make sure that is threaded through our storytelling…. They are the sort of person that you would want to win it.
“The main thing is that real relatability, that when you see it, [you think] ‘it could be me’.”
But the best part of the job for her is the work Lotto NZ does with community groups and knowing that every cent of profit goes back to these organisations.
“While we have an enormous amount of fun making our big brand ads and all our awesome creative work with our media teams, we also as a marketing team get to work a lot with our community recipients.
“We had an awesome campaign last year with Coast Guard NZ and we’ve worked with StarJam, Mobility Dogs, and Heart Kids NZ. We know that if we can elevate their brands then they are going to be more successful and get more volunteers, more funding and more support so to me that’s when you get the most out of it.
“It’s very humbling when you see how hard they work.”
As for the future, Annemarie is looking forward continuing to relate to New Zealanders as the nation changes.
“We are a brand that engages with a massive number of New Zealanders. We have just got to make sure that we keep moving forward with New Zealand and the way New Zealand is changing.
“Times have changed so much, people’s consumptions change, the way people’s lives are, there’s a lot of pressure financially on people.
“What I’m looking forward to is really putting our thinking caps on and working out how we can relate to people in the future, how we are providing a great experience, not only in the creative but in a really great experience.”
She also says marketers are faced with the challenge of doing the right thing for their customers in the current environment.
“Keeping Kiwis safe is at the core of who we are. We spend a lot of time really reviewing how much we push something, not overhyping it and not encouraging people to buy too many tickets, so it is a real balance for us.
“We are a gambling product and we have to be very careful to keep it in that fun positive space.
“There is always a lot of pressure to make more money and more profit but I think we have all seen that it’s important to be thinking about what is the right thing for New Zealand. That’s an awesome challenge for us to have.”Before joining Lotto, Annemarie had an extensive marketing and digital transformation career across a range of brands including Aspire2, Orion Health, TVNZ, and Seek NZ.