Lotto partakes in hypnosis for latest ads–UPDATED

In continuation of its ‘Imagine’ campaign online, Lotto Powerball enlisted the help of a hypnotist to trick a few Kiwi celebs into thinking they’d won the big one, then asked them what they would do with the money.


Lotto New Zealand chief marketing officer Guy Cousins says the celebs in the clips really were hypnotised. “When they came out of hypnosis it took a little while for the memories of what they had just done to come back, and they were quite surprised when we played it back to them.”

Lotto worked with hypnotist Ian Blaine who initially ran Jono, Ben and Maria through a series of tests to determine if they were receptive to hypnotism, he says. “They knew they would be put under, but had no idea what the details would be or what might happen. It was actually quite a brave thing for them to do – essentially giving up control.”

Cousins provided reasons for the more light-hearted approach after its initial TVC called ‘Pop’s Gift’: “The central organising thought for Lotto Powerball is about getting people to imagine what they would do if they won. People’s dreams are quite individual, so the stories we tell need to be varied to reflect this and connect. In practical terms these will take many forms.”

We kicked off with the current ‘Imagine’ commercial, which is really a big emotive film, he says. It was deliberately about going back to what New Zealand expects from Lotto – epic stories which at their heart are really about relationships and shared values.”

“We’ve had an incredibly positive response judging by the data in our consumer tracker and the hundreds of positive comments on Facebook and YouTube, he says. “People find the story heart-warming and we seem to have struck a chord.”

Cousins says it’s designed to run as a series and we will see some great 15-second ads come to air. “ … which bring to life the relationship with the father and son in a fun way.”

But it’s just the start of Imagine, he says. “We intend to bring to life people’s dreams in different ways through film and animation. There is a deliberate balance between deeper emotional stories and light-hearted ideas like this one. It’s definitely not a one size fits all, matching luggage approach.”

“The Hypnotist idea is a bit of fun, designed as a reward for our core players who follow us on social media.”

We gave Spark Activate an open brief to find ways to surprise and delight our players, he says. “We wanted to bring the idea of ‘Imagine’ to life. When they presented the idea of using hypnotism to get people to really imagine winning we were struck by the thought. But it was really important that it was just a bit of fun – so we used celebs with comic appeal.”

He says after releasing the videos on Monday, Lotto has had great feedback. “We’re going to experiment and have some fun along the way. But in essence it’s about dialling up the emotion in a category that is all about big dreams.”

Original story: August 3

Lotto hypnotised Jono and Ben’s Jono Pryor and Ben Boyce as well as professional netballer Maria Tutaia. The idea came from Spark Activate and the clips were shot by Augusto.

The other clips can be viewed here.

The ad is quite the shift from its previous ad for the campaign created by DDB and Steve Ayson from The Sweet Shop about the emotional struggle of a small family and what they choose to do when they win big.

In each clip the they are all dragged from a dark room (where they have presumably been hypnotised) into a bright room with two actors who are seated on the couch. The hypnotist then tells them when they wake up they will win Powerball, then a fake Lotto screening plays calling out the numbers on their tickets.

They each look hyped and jump up and down with the actors who they don’t know, though they get excited alongside them anyway. But are they really hypnotised? Or are they merely okay actors, who knows.

Pryor immediately says he’ll get a “Ferrari or something” before offering the actors one too, then contemplates a house in France or Greece and giving money to a charity. Boyce decides he’ll make his own movie and give a “few mill” away to charity while Tutaia calls her mum and discusses purchasing a church for her village.

“We’re starting to have to have fun with the ‘Imagine’ campaign – getting people to imagine what they would do if they won the big one. In this case some unsuspecting celebs,” says Lotto New Zealand chief marketing officer Guy Cousins.

He says Lotto has also had an incredible response to the Pop’s Gift TVC. “We’ve seen big lifts across business and marketing metrics. It’s also been getting high shares and positive comments on social media.”

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