Lotto NZ embraces the power of talking dogs to get more punters playing Keno

Back in 1903, C.M. Coolidge was commissioned by cigar makers Brown & Bigelow to create 16 paintings of dogs acting like humans that it could use for advertising and giveaways. Nine of them were of dogs sitting around a table playing cards and one of them, ‘Looks Like Four of a Kind’, ended up becoming a classic that has been referenced, copied and parodied relentlessly over the years (here in New Zealand, artist Ivan Clarke and Weta Workshop’s Richard Taylor were obviously inspired by the anthropomorphic, gambling canines and created The Lonely Dog series). And now Lotto NZ and DDB have joined that club for a new Keno campaign.

The campaign idea is that after years of playing Poker, the dogs have moved on to Keno and a new video series produced by Watermark demonstrates how playing the game is so straightforward it’s easier than “finding a bone in a graveyard”.

The videos follow the dogs—Frankie, Big Al, Two Cents Tammy, Bones McGraw, Old Bess and Licky Louie—as they discover different ways to play the game that match their gambling proclivities. The campaign coincides with Keno doubling its daily draws and now offering players four chances to win every day in-store or online.

“Keno is a great game for those who like to have a punt and Dogs Playing Keno is a fun campaign designed to get the game on people’s radars,” says Kelly Millier, head of brand and communications for Lotto NZ in a release. “We reckon the Keno Dogs will appeal to the better in all of us and hopefully teach a few more humans out there new Keno tricks to try themselves.”

Currently, Millier says Keno makes up about three percent of all Lotto NZ sales (in the year ended June 2013, its total revenue was $946.8 million, and Keno brought in $29 million in that time). In the six months to Dec 2013, sales of Keno were $14.9 million, which was $1.3 million (9.4 percent) up on budget and $0.6 million (four percent) up on the same period last year. And she says the number of people that play has been gradually increasing over the years. 



Executive Creative Director: Shane Bradnick

Creative Director Digital: Haydn Kerr

Art Directors: Zac Lancaster, Adam Thompson

Copywriters: Tom Cuniliffe, Ben Pegler

Group Business Director: Nikki McKelvie

Senior Account Manager: Katya Urlwin

Account Managers: Nicholas Dellabarca, Lizi Oldham

Head of Planning: Lucinda Sherborne

Planner: David McCallen

Executive Producer: Judy Thompson

Agency Producer: Samantha Meehan

Print Producer: Andy Robilliard

Lotto NZ

Kelly Millier: Head of Brand and Communications

Keri Merilees: Senior Brand and Communications Manager

Production Company: Watermark Ltd

Director: Dave Way

Animators: Dave Way, Tessa Monash, Mat Brady

Artwork: Anton Petrov

Producer: Simon Shaw

Sound Design: The Coopers

Media agency: Spark PHD & PHDiq

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