Eisner Mixes and Matches ‘Fortunes’ for Maryland

In life, whoever has the most fun wins, according to Eisner Communications.

The Baltimore agency broke an image campaign for the Maryland Lottery last week on the season premieres of NBC’s Friends, Will & Grace and ER. Media spending was not disclosed; the account bills$10-15 million annually.

The work retains the lottery’s “Let yourself play” tagline, created by Eisner in 2000.

Positioning for the games revolves around the fact that most players are not going to win big, but that it’s still fun to play the lottery, said Eisner associate creative director and copywriter Craig Strydom.

“We want the spots to be unexpected but relevant to the lives of the players,” Strydom said.

To that end, Strydom and senior art director Mark Rosica created one 60- and three 30-second commercials. All are set in a Chinese restaurant, where the staff has a grand time spicing up the fortune cookies with customized predictions.

“Mark and I thought it would be fun if someone was controlling your destiny from be-hind,” said Strydom.

Directed by Rocky Morton from MJZ in Los Angeles, it is mostly the waiters having all the fun.

In “Comb-over,” a post-adolescent son receives the fortune, “You will inherit much from your elders.” Gazing at his father’s cash as well as his lack of hair, the kid clearly wonders which gift he will inherit.

“Old Man” plays against the cliché of the gold digger and the rich, older man. “You will live a long, long life” is the fortune cookie message, which the solicitous woman gets to read.

The ads will run on Maryland network and cable channels. The long-er version is scheduled to air on the 2003 Super Bowl and the Academy Awards in April.

The Baltimore-based client plans to launch a “Fortune Cookie” scratch game next spring, said lottery director Buddy Roogow.

Eisner has held the Maryland lottery account since 1997.