Lotto Powerball goes from excitable high-fives to solemn familial scenes—UPDATED

After enlisting the help of a bearded serial high-fiver in its last campaign, Lotto Powerball and DDB have taken a rather serious and sombre approach this time, telling a story of hope, love and freedom through the relationship between a young boy, his grandfather and his hardworking father.

In a bid to help Kiwis imagine what winning Lotto Powerball might mean for their lives and loved ones, DDB and Steve Ayson from The Sweet Shop created a tale surrounding the emotional struggle of a small family, the release says.

Heading the family is a hardworking fisherman who appears to be the only provider for his son and father and who often has to be away from his young pirate-obsessed son who idolises him.

The mood in the latest TVC is a far cry from Lotto Powerball’s previous campaign, even the overall colouring of the clip seems toned down.

(UPDATE) DDB Executive creative director Shane Bradnick explained some of the reasoning behind the shift in mood.

He says the previous Lotto Powerball campaign was just an exaggeration of what it felt like to win. “[It was] letting people believe there are winners out there, but when we chatted with the client, Powerball has always been a lot more about dreaming than the feeling of winning,” he says. “It was that whole going back to what it has been about, going back to emotional stories about what people would do if they won but trying to contemporise it.”

It’s not just about the trappings of wealth, it’s about the things money can’t buy and being able to afford those, he says. “And then trying to get New Zealanders to imagine beyond what they would buy. The winning one [high-five ad] was good because it brought to life the feeling of winning … it didn’t put through that sense of wonder and imagination. It felt a bit more transactional. It was definitely a conscious shift, it wasn’t a continuation of that story.”

Bradnick says the idea behind the family dynamic was specifically designed that way to inspire anyone with a family. “There might be a backstory people could put in there. Both men it could appeal to them and ladies. But it’s pretty much [targeted towards]the whole of New Zealand.”

He says the campaign over outdoor via billboards and later there will be week-on-week-off creative Jackpot ads that will all be slightly different based on the theme of ‘imagine’.

DDB Chief creative officer Damon Stapleton says you often think about what you would buy if you won big, but when it comes down to it, it’s what you would do. “This film gives every New Zealander permission to imagine.”

Last year Lotto Powerball and DDB’s ad had an over-enthused office worker who expressed his sheer joy of winning Powerball by high-fiving everyone he encountered, even when it wasn’t particularly appropriate to do so.

“We’ve spoken to past winners who have some amazing stories about how their lives have changed after winning Lotto, and it’s in more ways than you’d think,” Lotto NZ chief marketing officer Guy Cousins says. “It’s not just about the things they can buy, but more about the freedom to choose how to spend their time and being able to focus on what really matters – quality time with family and friends.”

We wanted to tell a story of what freedom might mean to one family, he says. “It’s beautifully shot and it’s quite emotional. The film is the start of a long-term campaign across many touch-points that encourages New Zealanders to “Imagine” what they could do with their lives, to put themselves in the picture, and to dream about winning the big one.”

The Sweet Shop’s Steve Ayson who directed the film says: “I think this spot has an interesting and unique dynamic with the son, dad and grandfather as the core characters. In the lotteries genre it’s a fresh conceptual approach to explore the idea that winning could buy you time with the people you love”.

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