New BBDO Lottery spot involves giant jar of marbles

“Marbles’” visual gimmick involves a giant glass jar containing 7.6 million marbles.

Energy BBDO/Chicago is about to unveil a major ad campaign for the Illinois Lottery’s new “Cash Spectacular” game.   The new game will award 7.6 million prizes — four times more prizes than all the cat videos on the Internet and 22 times more prizes than O’Hare Airport has flights each year, or so we’re told. Props to the person who came up with these bits of trivia.

The new Lottery game, by the time it has run its course, also will yield 25 new Illinois millionaires, unless, that is, a lucky Lottery winner already happens to be one.

In any event, the centerpiece of the Cash Spectacular marketing effort is a new 30-second TV spot titled “Marbles,” set to roll out next week. 

The visual gimmick in the effort involves a giant glass jar containing 7.6 million marbles that sits near the city’s iconic Bean sculpture in Millennium Park.

A worker accidentally causes the giant jar to break, thereby unleashing millions of marbles on to the streets of Chicago. A car must navigate its way through a sea of the colored orbs. A squirrel hungrily eyes one, and two movers nervously cling to a piano as the marbles swirl beneath their feet.

It doesn’t take a genius to discern the inspiration for this spot had to come from the famous, award-winning Sony Bravia colored balls spot from Fallon/London that featured tens of thousands of colored balls cascading through the streets of San Francisco.

We, frankly, never found the Fallon spot that riveting, once we had digested the magnitude of the stunt the ad agency was able to pull off.  The marbles in the Energy BBDO’s Lottery spot are smaller than the colored balls, but there certainly appear to be lots more of them.

The Sony Bravia spot was all about watching the the haphazard choreography of the balls.  The Energy BBDO folks have attempted to inject a touch more wit into the visuals and the copywriting of “Marbles,” but it isn’t enough to make this feel like much more than a so-so rehash of the colored balls spot that commanded the world’s attention several years ago.

Agency credits: Executive creative director, Dan Fietsam, creative director, Jonathan Linder; writer, Miller Jones, art director, Aaron Pendleton; producer, Ashley Geisheker.  Production: Production company, Biscuit, director, Aaron Stoller via local company 59 Films, Ed Amaya executive producer.  Editorial: Machete, editorial/post, The Whitehouse, editorial; Filmworkers Club, post.  Music: Sonixphere, Greg Allen. 

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