High Rollers: Shops Bid for Lotto

Review Ignored Last Time Around Fires Interest in Nutmeg State
BOSTON–Cronin & Co. will face at least three competitors in its bid to retain the $5.6 million Connecticut Lottery account.
Keiler & Co., Mascola Advertising and Mason & Madison were among the 12 shops that attended a bidders’ conference held by the lottery, a semipublic corporation.
It was a stark contrast to a review six months ago in which only eight-year incumbent Cronin participated. Lottery officials awarded the Glastonbury, Conn., shop a six-month contract and blamed the lack of interest on the short, two-week deadline for proposals. This time around, prospective candidates were given more time to submit proposals. Lottery officials expect to select a winner in November.
“I think we were encouraged by the turnout,” lottery corporate council James McCormack said of the conference.
One notable absentee was Mintz & Hoke, Avon, Conn., which originally launched the lottery. Agency president Chris Knopf said the shop passed on the review because it felt its representation of the Mohegan Sun casino would pose a conflict.
Mascola in New Haven, Conn., plans to highlight its experience as the roster shop for Bradley International Airport and gaming parlors such as Sports Haven, said agency representative Mike Kuczkowski.
Although it lacks category experience, Keiler feels its creative capability gives it a fighting chance, according to Mel Maffei, creative director at the Farmington, Conn., shop.
Mason & Madison president Charlie Mason wouldn’t reveal the strategy his New Haven shop will employ in the review.
Conference attendees who said they were not sure whether they will pitch include BCB Group, Meriden, Conn.; Cashman & Katz, Glastonbury, Conn.; and the Visual Intelligence Agency, Danbury, Conn.
The other shops that attended–O’Neal & Prelle, Hartford, Conn.; Earl Palmer Brown and J. Brown/LMC Group, both Stamford, Conn.; and Ryan Partnership, Westport, Conn.–did not return phone calls by press time.
Two out-of-state firms also attended: The Star Group of Cherry Hill, N.J., and Advanced Results Marketing of Boston. Those shops will have to open an office in Connecticut or partner with an in-state shop to qualify, according to McCormack.
Cronin will debut new lottery ads at the end of October that feature a new logo–a stick figure tossing money into the air–and tagline, “Is this fun or what?”