So now — in advance of its debut later this month — we have the second TV commercial in what can only be described as a new era in Illinois Lottery marketing.
That new era began with the appointment in January of Downtown Partners/Chicago as the new agency of record for the Lottery. DP/C replaced Energy BBDO/Chicago, which was dismissed soon after Michael Jones became the new Illinois Lottery superintendent last October.
Last month, DP introduced its first TV commercial for a new Illinois Lottery brand campaign with the tagline “Anything’s Possible.” What was possible — and very much achieved — in that first spot was a new tone and a new style of Lottery advertising that eschews all of the silliness and crude comedic schtick that seemed to be the hallmark of Lottery advertising for as long as we can remember.
The second spot in the “Anything’s Possible” campaign is set to debut on April 30. Titled “Favorite Song,” it is very much of a whole with what was on view in that initial spot. Especially in the way it simply suggests that playing the Lottery is a simple joy — something that can be fun and beneficial to oneself (as well as the state).
But what “Favorite Song” doesn’t do is go out of its way to indicate anyone is going to get a huge personal payout by playing the Lottery. Of course, “Favorite Song” will debut soon after the big hubbub downstate in the tiny town of Red Bud, where just yesterday a lovely retired couple came forward to claim nearly $220 million in winnings from playing the multi-state Mega Millions game.
That humongous payout is going to be very much on the minds of state residents for at least a little while. And though winnings of that magnitude aren’t common here in Illinois, the lucky win Downstate is certainly going to make more people want to plunge in and play Illinois Lottery games in the coming months.
Spot introduces “Lucky Day Lotto”
After all, who knows? It just could be anyone’s lucky day.
And that is very much what this new “Favorite Song” TV commercial wants to telegraph to viewers.
At the top of the spot we see a young lady pulling out of her carport on the way to work. As she turns on the car radio, she discovers her favorite song is playing, which elicits a big smile from her.
But her luck doesn’t stop there. She goes on to find the express elevator opening up just as she enters the office tower where she works. Then the cupcake cart comes around to her desk, and she nabs the last pink-frosted cupcake — the very last — on the tray.
Indeed, a lot of luck appears to be with this young woman on this particular day. Which is as good a reason as any to maybe pick up a Lottery ticket. The spot’s voiceover announcer subtly indicates as much as we watch the young woman pause in front of a store window where we see a “Lucky Day Lotto” sign.
And at that moment, “Favorite Song” offers a good example of how Downtown Partners can effortlessly inject a pleasing touch of wit into a spot at just the right moment: A red carpet magically rolls out at the young woman’s feet to welcome her into the store to buy her Lucky Day Lotto ticket.
Lottery brand and specific game rebranding
Don’t recognize that particular Lottery game? Well you won’t until April 30, when Lottery executives plan to rebrand the current “Little Lotto” as “Lucky Day Lotto.” Yes, this second commercial will actually do double duty as both a Lottery brand commercial and a specific game rebranding effort.
Stylistically, “Favorite Song,” like the previous “Anything’s Possible” debut spot, has a very restrained aura — so emblematic of the Downtown Partners core aesthetic — that is in marked contrast to the vast majority of TV advertising that bombards us every day.
If we have one concern, it may be that “Favorite Song’s” soft-spoken tone, unfortunately may make it harder for the commercial to break out from the horrible advertising clutter we endure daily. As we also said in a previous posting about “Anything’s Possible,” a stronger, more distinctive musical component might help this commercial shine even more.
New focus a welcome change
But that quibble aside, “Favorite Song,” most importantly, becomes the second strong piece of evidence to demonstrate where Illinois Lottery superintendent Jones and his new ad agency are taking the marketing of the Lottery in this new era.
Where is that? As far away as possible, thank heavens, from the painfully heavy-handed emphasis on putting out dumb creative and winning big bucks that previously did little more than badly tarnish the Illinois Lottery brand.
Now the focus is squarely on getting more people to consider playing. And in so doing, perhaps with a little luck, bring some good things their way.
Just remember, anything’s possible. Right?
Credits: Agency, Downtown Partners Chicago; writer, Dan Consiglio, art director, Amy Ditchman, producer Will Meyers. Production Company, @Radical Media, director, Andrew Becker. Music: Nick Tremulis. Editorial, Beast, editor, Angelo Valencia.
Contact Lewis Lazare at LewisL3@aol.com