Eisner Plays Around With Lucky Numbers

ATLANTA The Maryland Lottery plays rough in slapstick spots from Eisner Communications.

Three television commercials touting the state’s Pick 3 game show what might happen if gamers do not play their lucky numbers.

Shot in Maryland by David Kellogg of Anonymous Content, Los Angeles, the campaign treats numbers—four, five and seven, to be exact—as antagonists.

In “Office,” a senior manager promotes his protege. When the boss turns away to drink water from a wall fountain, a man-size, orange No. 4 rushes up and grabs the junior executive’s hand, forcing him to goose his boss. When the number dashes away before the startled man can recover, his underling is left to take the rap.

Kellogg’s camera lingers just long enough on the executive’s face to leave viewers with a sense of ambiguity, according to the agency.

A new slogan, from the Baltimore shop’s executive creative director, Steve Etzine, and copywriter Craig Strydom, closes the spot, “Play your numbers before they play you.”

In “Donut,” an unsuspecting homeowner receives an early morning visit from an oversize, pink No. 7. As the bathrobe-clad man attempts to retrieve his newspaper, a truck races around his tiny front lawn, splattering him with mud. The spot ends with “Lucky 7” emerging from behind the wheel and stealing the man’s newspaper, at the same time yanking his boxers down.

In “Lineup,” a crime victim identifies a conspicuous green No. 5 from a group of potential suspects.

“The strategic notion of giving the numbers an emotional stake gives the game a fresh vantage point,” said Jill Baer, lottery director of creative services.

The effort, an extension of the client’s 3-year-old “Let Yourself Play” theme, broke April 21 in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and throughout Maryland. Radio, print and in-store materials support the TV campaign.

Billings on the account amount to $10-14 million annually.