Using the premise that the high five is the veritable Rosetta stone of celebratory language, DDB’s new Lotto NZ ad takes a likeable Kiwi Everyman on an international journey, during which he only speaks in palm slaps.
In three 30-second and nine 15-second spots, Craig, a regular bloke, is depicted expressing his happiness by sharing spontaneous high fives with everything he encounters.
The journey starts in his hometown, but before long he’s bumping paws with a grizzly bear, reaching for the outstretched hand of Christ the Redeemer, slapping some zombie skin and just generally sharing his winning feeling with every random individual along the way.
"With the Powerball High Five campaign we wanted to bring the winning feeling of our most epic game to life, put a smile on people's faces and clearly communicate the jackpot amount to encourage Kiwis to buy a ticket to a potential winning feeling of their own," says Lotto NZ head of brand and comms Kelly Millier.
In a release, Val Green, the general manager of marketing for Lotto NZ, explains that “winning happens all the time,” and this statement seems to follow on from last year’s Instant Kiwi ‘winning happens’ campaign that spawned several bizarre spots of lucky people falling into money.
And apparently this isn't the last we'll see of smiling Craig, because DDB and Lotto NZ are planning to bring him back from the moon in a series of follow-on ads that will likely feature more jubilation.
"We’ve got a bunch of content to keep the campaign fresh and we’re focused on how we amplify this. So keep your eyes peeled over the coming months as our guy Craig continues his journey, celebrating that winning feeling with the people he meets, a bit closer to home," says Millier.
The introduction of Craig's infectious high-fiving does however mean that Wilson and his bearded friend will no longer be appearing in Lotto NZ ads.
"Wilson was hugely popular and was one of the best-loved NZ ads in recent years. It did a good job for Lotto, won gongs for agencies and delivered a strong emotional connection for viewers with our product, but every dog has its day and it was time for Wilson to put its paws up and enjoy canine retirement," she says.
Given that focus of the advertising has changed, Lotto NZ also used the new series of spots to unveil its revamped logo.
"Last year, a new brand strategy was developed and, as part of this, we changed our brand hierarchy," says Millier. "This has been in place since June of last year and has been seen at a corporate level, with the change from NZ Lotteries to Lotto NZ, and now we’re starting to roll out the new look and feel externally in comms. The Powerball High Five campaign was the first cab off the rank sporting the new visual identity and you’ll see this roll out over time in new campaigns."
Millier also believes that the new logo better serves as a reflection of the image Lotto NZ is trying to portray to Kiwi consumers.
"At Lotto NZ we pride ourselves on creating a colourful, fun and memorable gaming experience that delivers an amazing choice of products, and the new visual identity reflects this. It’s fun to play," she says.
As a vaguely interesting side note, Lotto NZ's liberal use of high fives isn't entirely new to advertising. In 2012, Deutsch/LA gave the infamous punch buggy game a more innocuous twist by encouraging passers-by to high five VW drivers. Although an elated protagonist didn't instigate the gratuitous high-fiving in the VW campaign, the spot did feature a comparable number of hand slaps between complete strangers.
Client: Lotto NZ
Executive Creative Director: Andy Fackrell
Creative Director: Shane Bradnick
Creative's: James O’Sullivan, Adam Barnes, Ben Pegler
Group Business Director: Greg Jones, Nikki McKelvie
Account Director: Charlie Stow
Account Manager: Nick Dellabarca
Head of Planning: Lucinda Sherborne
Planning Director: David McIndoe
Executive Producer: Judy Thompson
Agency Producer: Samantha Meehan
GM Marketing: Val Green
Head of Brand and Communications: Kirsty Phillips, Kelly Millier
Senior Brand and Communications Manager: Keri Merrilees
Media Agency: SparkPHD
Production Company: Plaza Films
Director: Paul Middleditch
Executive Producer: Peter Masterton
Head of Production: Megan Ayers
DOP: Daniel Ardilley
Offline Editor (The Editors): David Whittaker
Online / VFX: Method Studios
Sound Design: The Coopers
Music: “Gimme Some Lovin’” (Winwood/Davis/Winwood) performed by Steve Winwood
Published by Universal Music Publishing / Kobalt Music. Recording courtesy of Steve Winwood
Licensing: Jonathan Hughes, Franklin Rd