Ad of the Day: U.K. National Lottery

AMV BBDO's masterful period piece salutes the Meadows family and the funding of Olympic dreams

It's hard to remember that outside the U.S., countries occasionally use money from the lottery to fund things other than the basic functions of state government. (I know, I know, you were promised education funding, and look where you are now!)

The U.K.'s National Lottery has just released this spot from AMV BBDO demonstrating to viewers that the 1 in 10 million chance to win half a million pounds is money well spent—for somebody, at least. The somebodies in this ad are Jenny Meadows and her mother Barbara. The former is an Olympian representing the very country that generously sponsors this contest. The latter always wanted to be a runner, but alas, there was no National Lottery to help. (The pair are played by actors in the spot.)

It's a good ad, frankly. Young Barbara's life narrated in a thick Cumbrian accent and shot in '60s Brit-vision in such a way that it's suffused with a deep sense of nostalgia. And nobody does nostalgia like the English. "She's gonnae do it!" crows the down-home announcer. "She's gonnae win the gold!"

Director Martin de Thurah's distillation of Barbara's life into a minute-long mini-film about the triumph of the human spirit is masterly. You can feel the post-war despair during Barbara's abandonment of her dreams next to a newsagents; you can see her falling in love as Britain flowers into recovery in the '60s; the rest is child rearing, which is a slow, underhand pitch if ever there was one.

In conclusion, anyone who uses the term "regressive tax" is a cheese-eating Frenchman.


Client: National Lottery

Agency: AMV BBDO, London

Copywriter: Alex Grieve

Art Director: Adrian Rossi

Agency Planners: Michael Lee, Emily Harlock, Alaina Crystal

TV Producers: Olly Chapman, Holly Pienaar

Production Company: Academy

Director: Martin de Thurah

Producer: Simon Cooper

Post-Production Company: The Mill

Audio Post-Production: Factory

Media Agency: MPG

Media Planner: Simon Jenkins

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