What a difference a day makes: DDB does the splits for new Big Wednesday campaign

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The DDB NZ and NZ Lotteries combo is a pretty bloody good one, as evidenced by the wins in the TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards. And, following on from its much-loved Wilson epic, which is the most liked Lotto campaign to date, the duo are hoping to fill the coffers even further and sell the mid-week dream with a refresh of Big Wednesday.

The big budget ad, which was filmed by Finch Company, uses a split screen technique to reinforce the core creative idea: how winners’ lives could change after a win. This idea has been used to great effect for the past three years, and Talbot says that Big Wednesday campaign has been one of the most successful campaigns ever for NZ Lotteries, so it was always going to be difficult to improve on it.

“Big Wednesday has traditionally been quite a retail focused campaign in terms of prizes,” DDB’s executive creative director Toby Talbot says. “When we won the business from Lowe, they were basically doing a brochure with all the prizes, so it’s nice to have some storytelling and intrigue involved. Hopefully people keep coming back to the ad and finding something new.”

Of course, the super-rich are often quite comical, so there’s plenty of fodder to be found in unbridled extravagance and, with DDB in charge, humour is never far away. And while Talbot doesn’t like to use the word formula, he admits there are some similarities between this ad and the last Instant Kiwi spot: an engaging, entertaining TVC with a memorable soundtrack and a heavy focus on retail, this time it’s a nod to Evel Knievel-esque stunts, to back that up.

Also similar is the use of an anti-hero, as seen in the recent 60 things in 60 seconds Sky ad, which was made by the same creative team. As Talbot says, they’re cornering the market in habsburg jawed, balding, middle aged front men, but there’s no doubt more Kiwis can probably relate to that than to a square-jawed hunk ‘o beef.

He says NZ Lotteries will always be a big TV client because they’re selling the dream to as many people as possible but they’re always forcing them to make bigger and better ads. And, much to his pleasure, he says they also understands the power of music to create memorable campaigns and are happy to invest in it, rather than rip something off, so getting the Queen track was a bit of a coup.

Like the Wilson campaign, Talbot says this was a big shoot and took 11 days, with some more 15 second spots also filmed. And some of the locations were “pretty fruity”, like the stunning house with a fountain in Epsom (he claims it’s not Sandy Moore’s or Marty O’Hallaran’s).


Agency: DDB Group New Zealand

Executive Creative Director:  Toby Talbot

Creative Director: Regan Grafton

Art Director: Lisa Fedyszyn

Copywriter:   Jonathan McMahon

Group Business Director:  Angela Watson

Account Director:  Jenny Travers

Account Manager: Sarah Dyck

Executive TV Producer: Judy Thompson

Agency Producer: Kim Baldwinson


Film Co: Finch Company

Producer: Julianne Shelton

Director: Christopher Riggert

DOP: Garry Phillips

Visual Effects: Fin Design


Client contacts:

Todd McLeay, Warren Salisbury, Wendy Rayner, Justin Powell

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