Since launching its over-arching Winning Happens tagline, NZ Lotteries and DDB have been aiming to show punters what it feels like to win. First up was its Instant Kiwi campaign, and next came Powerball and an overly-enthusiastic high-fiver called Craig. And it's done the job and caught some attention, because that campaign has taken out the February round of Colmar Brunton's Ad Impact Award.
"We’re chuffed with how Powerball High-Five is travelling," says Kelly Millier, NZ Lotteries' head of brand and communications. "It’s researching well and early indications are extremely positive on all metrics tracked. It’s early days, in a long campaign run to stimulate demand for our most epic game, but it’s hearty high-fives all round so far from our camp. Our high-five enthusiast Craig will be winning and grinning on screens, small and large, for a while to come and we’ll continue to amplify the campaign outside of the always on layer further down the track."
DDB's executive creative director Shane Bradnick says everyone's pretty happy with the response to the ad, and it has achieved what it set out to do: show how great it would feel to win that much cash.
"We're not selling the dream, we're selling how it would potentially feel."
He says it's important for Lotteries to create great, entertaining ads—and, of course, promote the jackpots and remind people that it's a shitload of money, as it did with Big Wednesday to take out a TVNZ-NZ Marketing Award last year. But not only to capture attention, but to make players feel a bit better when they don't win.
Following on from the main TVCs, Lotto and DDB have moved the campaign online, with clips of Craig engaging with a range of Kiwi heroes in the real world, including Kiwi strongman champion Colm Woulfe, a few lifesavers from NZ Surf Life Saving, basketball star CJ Bruton and former All Blacks player Stephen Donald. And the latest clip features Robyn Malcolm going back to her boganic roots.
"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," Millier said a few weeks back. "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."
Bradnick says "the last thing we would want to do is introduce him to the nation and then take him away", so there's more high fiving on the horizon, although Craig's palms are pretty tender at the moment.
"It would be interesting to see if we could break a world-record," he hints.
Harriet Dixon, account director at Colmar Brunton, says the ads were good all-rounders, exceeding norms for branding, impact and persuasion. There were some strong contenders for the award in February, but she says the defining factor was the high impact of the Lotto work.
"Consumers surveyed found it highly enjoyable to watch, a campaign that is innovative and elicited a lot of buzz as a result, with a strong talkability factor," she says. "Everyone has dreamed of winning Lotto, is this how it would feel? Who knows, but who could help getting sucked into the infectious Lotto-winning celebrations with the catchy tune and humour."