In a continuation of its 'High Five' campaign launched last February, Lotto Powerball NZ is sending a bearded protagonist around the country to celebrate the successes of Kiwis. And while it might sound reminiscent of ASB's ill-fated campaign starring Brian Blessed, Lotto's effort, conceptualised by DDB, differs markedly from the approach used by the bank.
Rather than dressing its protagonist in colonial clothing and placing him in the homes of Kiwi families, Lotto NZ is instead sending Craig, the likeable Kiwi Everyman figure from the 'High Five' campaign, to engage with a range of Kiwi heroes.
"We're celebrating real-life wins with a high five and are putting Powerball tickets in the hands of these winning New Zealanders to give them the chance to extend their winning feeling," says Lotto NZ's head of brand and comms Kelly Millier.
"This phase kicked off with a Facebook competition asking our fans and friends of fans to share their winning stories and go in the draw to win a year's worth of Powerball tickets.
"We're delighted with the response so far and it has been fun seeing our likeable guy, Craig, high-fiving our fans and a few well-known New Zealanders along the way. His enthusiasm is infectious and we hope this translates into sales, with more Kiwis getting in on the Powerball action for a chance to get a potential winning feeling of their own."
Over the course of four new clips, Craig is depicted giving celebratory high fives to Kiwi strongman champion Colm Woulfe, a few lifesavers from NZ Surf Life Saving, basketball star CJ Bruton and former All Blacks player Stephen Donald.
Woulfe holds a range of national strongman awards, and some sporting analysts believe that he may have the talent and physique to leave a mark on the international stage.
Last summer, Surf Life Saving NZ rescued over 1,000 people from drowning, a feat that shows there's no shortage of heroes sitting in the lifeguard towers throughout the country. And according to a sidebar placed alongside the video on the 'High Five' campaign webpage, Lotto donated in excess of two million dollars to the organisation last year.
As a six-time winner of the National Basket Ball Championships with the Breakers, Bruton is no stranger to success, so it comes as little surprise that DDB and Lotto decided to include him in the compilation. (The website also features a short video of Craig and Bruton having a one-on-one challenge).
In addition to kicking the winning penalty in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Donald's life story will be one of central narratives in a TV One drama that's currently in production.
Although this extension of the 'High Five' campaign was only released to the public relatively recently, it has been in the waterworks for quite some time. In February, when the campaign was originally released, Millier advised Kiwis to "keep [their] eyes peeled over the coming months," as Craig would "bring the winning feeling ... a bit closer to home". And given that focus has now shifted from international (and space-based) landmarks to the exploits of Kiwis in New Zealand, this has certainly come to fruition.
Millier also adds that the campaign isn't ending here, as Lotto NZ also has a few more stories, which will be uploaded to the website over the next few weeks.