Rate That Ad: OKRP’s ‘You Can’t Hide Winning’ for Illinois Lottery

By Erik Oster 

We’re going to try the Rate That Ad approach again, following its debut with Maserati. This time we’ll be focusing on new work for the Illinois Lottery from Chicago-based O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul, one of Adweek’s inaugural Fastest Growing Agencies last year.

The ad, entitled “You Can’t Hide Winning,” firmly plants itself in the Covid era with a look at some very happy winners able to express their joy at winning Illinois Lottery Instant Ticket Games, even while responsibly wearing face masks. It’s all set to “Bing Bang Bong,” a song popularized by actress Sophia Lauren in the 1960s.

“We wanted to capture the spirit of what winning looks like at a time when you can’t see someone’s smile,” OKRP group creative director  Aubrey Walker explained. “This work showcases the delight that can’t be hidden in our winners’ eyes and their exuberant spirit. The music adds an important exclamation point and sets a nostalgic tone that makes it distinctive and ownable by the Illinois Lottery. And once you hear it, it stays in your head.”


OKRP worked with photographer Marcus Smith on the spot, and the shoot with Minimal Productions adhered to strict Covid-19 guidelines. Actors were cast for their expressive faces, according to a statement. The integrated campaign launched last month and will run through early September across broadcast, online video and social channels.

While not all that much of a departure from the category’s typical fare, the campaign’s simple concept fulfills two functions: communicating that “just won” excitement that is visible even with partially obscured faces and displaying that the Illinois Lottery takes safety protocols seriously (and expects you to wear a mask when you buy your ticket). That’s an accomplishment, and this is a touch category in which to stand out, so we’re going to give it three out of five Faucis. We’ll follow up on social to gauge our audience’s opinion, where you can tell us your own Fauci rating.