Grey’s Thrills of Victory: Conceives ‘Winning Moments’ for California Lottery

LOS ANGELES-Capturing the immediate feeling of winning is the idea behind Grey Advertising’s first creative effort for the California Lottery.
The six 15- and 30-second television commercials, set to break Sept. 15 in California spot TV markets, are a part of the estimated $15-20 million campaign entitled “Winning Moments.”
The campaign retains the “Who’s next?” tagline, which was created by the California Lottery’s previous agency of record, J. Walter Thompson in San Francisco. The new television spots are an evolution of the campaign, taking it to “a different level,” according to the lottery’s advertising manager, Susan Kossack.
“Grey recommended a shift from showing the things you could do or buy because of your winnings to the emotions associated with the actual moment of winning,” said Kossack. “Grey had a strong concept in capturing the winning moment.”
All the spots show actors playing lottery participants at the precise moment they discover they are SuperLotto winners. One ad depicts a man attempting to tell his wife that he has just won millions, but he cannot get the words out because of his excitement.
Another spot shows a secretary describing to her boss where the coffee pot and filters are located in the office, since she is quitting her job. Along with infectious giggles, she expresses how she is unable to tell him how much she has enjoyed working for him, and the viewer infers it is due to her lottery win. A third commercial shows a mother and small child, dancing ecstatically around their living room after discovering they have won.
Radio and outdoor ads in the same vein support the campaign.
“The campaign has a life of at least two years,” expressed Grey’s vice chairman and Western division chief operating officer Larry Varnes. “There are a variety of [winning] emotions we can play off of. People are individuals and react in different ways.”
The Los Angeles agency also has created two Jackpot spots, which feature various facial expressions of winners after discovering they have won the lottery. This work airs whenever the lottery jackpot rolls over from one week to the next.
“These spots convey the very moment of winning,” said Grey’s vice chairman and chief creative officer Alan Kupchick. “We wanted to tap into the emotions involved and vividly portray a range of responses.”
A separate campaign for Scratcher lottery tickets will begin in October.
Grey’s four-year budget for the lottery was cut this summer by about $10 million annually [Adweek, July 28]. The 1997-98 budget will be used primarily during the next nine months. The fourth-quarter budget is expected to come from additional game revenues, Kossack said.