How This Minneapolis Agency Plans to Help the Minnesota Lottery Cater to Millennials

Periscope scores the $7.5 million account

The Minnesota Lottery wants more young people—the ones who use their smartphones to do everything from ordering a pizza to paying friends for movie tickets—to buy more lottery tickets. The problem? Most young people never carry cash and they don't usually go inside the gas station convenience store when they hit the pump. The Minnesota Lottery needed an agency to help drive scratch-off sales.

Minneapolis-based agency Periscope (which, for the record, predates Twitter's similarly named app) has landed itself the gig as agency of record, working for the organization that spends roughly $7.5 million annually on marketing and advertising, following a competitive pitch process, the agency's CEO Liz Ross told Adweek. Ross credits the agency's ability to illustrate how it would effectively use digital marketing techniques, from mobile ads to social media interaction, to drive scratch-off lottery ticket purchases among millennials.

"As we look to expand our player base, particularly with younger adults, digitally centric marketing strategies will be critical to deepen engagement and relevance. Periscope not only has extensive knowledge and experience in this arena, but their end-to-end capabilities will allow them to think about our brand holistically, making them the ideal partner to help us achieve our goals," Jason LaFrenz, Minnesota Lottery's director of marketing and sales, said in a statement. 

Ross said that in order for the agency to impress the lottery with its pitch, it needed to accomplish a few things. One was to capture the excitement you can get in those few minutes when you're scratching away to see if you've won big in the creative work. The other was to focus on how the lottery impacts the overall community, raising over $2.4 billion for state programs and over $1 billion for environmental programs.

"Obviously millennials connect, and we all do on some level, with companies that have real purpose behind what they do. The lottery has that in spades in terms of all the things that the lottery money goes to support in the state, which is really environmental and causes that younger audiences care a great deal about," Ross said. 

As the agency begins to roll out new work for the client later this year, expect to see a heavy push on social media, but also a new way of thinking about the payment process, ideally through mobile. Periscope will handle creative work for the lottery, as well as media buying and planning duties.