‘Dreams Start in the Black’ in David&Goliath’s Surreal New Spot for the California Lottery

By Erik Oster 

Earlier in the month, we learned that the California Lottery has launched a review of its creative and media agency relationships ahead of its contract with agency of record David&Goliath expiring next August.

We don’t have any updates on that front yet, but the Los Angeles-based independent agency did launch a new spot for the client.

“Dreams Start in the Black” promotes the California Black Premium Scratchers Series, built around the idea that sleep starts with the darkness of closing your eyes but soon pass into the endless possibilities of dreams. The spot compares this notion to how the California Black Premium Scratchers Series can lead from an all-black scratch card to dreams being fulfilled with a $5,000,000 jackpot.


The 75-second extended online version of the spot opens on a woman who places a California Black Premium Scratchers Series card on a table and closes her eyes. She is first enveloped in blackness but from a tiny crack of light begins to see visions of all the possibilities from that sweet, sweet prize money which unfold in surreal transitions before concluding with the “Dreams Start in the Black” tagline.

The beautifully-shot spot elevates the concept with memorable images captured by director Rich Lee (music videos for Eminem and Lana Del Rey) and cinematographer Claudio Miranda (Life of Pi), perfectly set to RY X‘s “Shortline.” In addition to the online version, it will also run in 30 and 15-second iterations on local broadcast in California markets such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento and Fresno. The campaign also includes digital, social, OOH, experiential and radio components.

“I love the opportunity to partner with great teams to tell these really unique visual stories. From the very first conversation with the D&G team we were all totally in sync on what the creative needed to be and they were supportive of the vision every step of the way,” Lee said in a statement.

“The whole concept started with a simple truth that rings true with both the product and the notion of dreaming, which is pretty inherent to playing the Lottery,” added David&Goliath creative director Greg Buri. “And it’s hard to do dreams justice and easy to go too far. In this case, I think we walked the line between the dream world and the tone we’ve been setting for our client.”
Agency: David&Goliath, LA
Founder & Chairman: David Angelo
Chief Creative Officer: Bobby Pearce

Creative Director: Greg Buri
Creative Director: Raul Garcia
Copywriter: Will Danilow
Art Director: Shaun Wright
Social Assets:
Sr. Copywriter: Nick Micale
Sr. Interactive Art Director: Matt Koulermos

Group Planning Director: Kristen Knape
Planner: Chris Kwak

Managing Director of Broadcast Production: Paul Albanese
Executive Producer: Curt O’Brien
Senior Broadcast Producer: Juliet Diamond

Director of Business Affairs: Rodney Pizarro
Business Affairs Manager: Camara Price
Associate Business Affairs Manager: Travis Kohler

Group Account Director: Stacia Parseghian
Account Director: Janet Wang
Account Supervisor: Erika Rosenwinkel
Account Coordinator: Alex Petosa
Project Manager: Mike Antonellis

Director of Digital Production: Peter Bassett
Senior Interactive Producer: Noah Luger

Director of Print Services: Meredith Walsh
Senior Art Producer: Andrea Rosenfeld

Production Company: Native Content
Director: Rich Lee
Director of Photography (TV): Claudio Miranda
Director of Photography (Digital Videos):
Managing Director/Executive Producers: Tomer DeVito and Ned Brown
Line Producer: Michael Angelos
Sales Representative: Kevin Batten
Head of Production: Sean Blair
Production Supervisor: Ben Oswald
Art Director: Brandon Mendez

Digital Production Company: Picnic

Editorial House: Spinach
Editor: Shane Reid (from Exile)
Assistant Editor: Cutler Gray
Producer: Jonathan Carpio

Telecine: Sean Coleman
Colorist: Company 3
Online & VFX: Jamm
Lead Flame Artist: Brian Hajek
CG Artist: Zachary DiMaria
Producer: Ashley Greyson
Executive Producer: Asher Edwards

Music: Ry X

Mix House: Lime Studios
Sound Mixer/Engineer: Mark Meyuhas