Ad of the Day: New York Lottery

Mega Millions gives the walking dead a reason to live

Shaun of the Dead has a lot to answer for, culturally speaking, but every now and then it births a shambling, mumbling, flesh-starved horror it should be proud of. Among them is DDB New York's "Zombies" ad for the New York Lottery Mega Millions, which will run in cinemas starting today (spreading soon to TV), and features a trio of apocalypse survivors preparing to fend off a horde of restless undead inside a storefront, only to be saved at the last minute by an announcement that the lottery jackpot is now at "millions and millions of dollars!"

A few questions about this spot: Assuming one of the zombies wins the lottery, what will he buy with the proceeds? Answer: Brains. Why are the people inside the Brooklyn laundromat facing the plate glass window, rather than hiding deeper inside the store? Answer: Brains. Why is the government taking valuable zombie-killing time out of a hopefully very busy schedule to announce the lottery jackpot over what must be the only remaining television station? Answer: Braaaaaaaains.

Nice touches here: the QUARANTINE sign behind the zombie trying to hail a taxi; the orange vest-wearing ghoul who regains his humanity long enough to give a "what's with this guy?" shrug when there's nobody in the newsstand to take his money; everybody's contacts are great. Also the "beauty supply" store behind the zombies as they break the plate-glass window. Also, the musical refrain, written for the ad by Fountains of Waynes bassist Adam Schlesinger, “You gave me a reason to live.”

All in all, a well-directed spot with an instantly recognizable theme at least one huge, unintended truth, namely that lottery tickets are for people who really need brains.

Yes, all right, fine, I've played the lottery, too.

Agency: DDB New York
Chief Creative Officer: Matt Eastwood
Creative Directior: Rich Sharp
Creative Director: Mike Sullivan
Head of Production: Ed Zazzera
Executive Producer: Walter Brindak
Group Account Director: Leo Mamorsky
Management Supervisor: Kelly Gorsky
Account Supervisor: Heather Olson  
Assistant Account Executive: Tarina Hesaltine
Assistant Producer: Katy Fuoco

Production Company: O Positive
Director: Jim Jenkins
Exececutive Producer: Ralph Laucella
Line Producer: Ralph Laucella
DP: Larry Fong

Post-Production: Cutting Room Films
Editor: Chuck Willis

Visual Effects Company: Light of Day
Amy Taylor – Managing Director
Charles Nordeen – Creative Director of Development
Colin Stackpole  – Creative Director
Justin Barnes – Lead Designer
Di He – CG Technical Director 
Josh Williams – Senior Smoke Artist
Kristen Barnard – Head of Production