Lotteries Bet on TV Icons

Lady Luck Gets New Spokesmen in Majors, La Lanne
LOS ANGELES–The state lotteries of Colorado and Washington are putting some muscle behind their new campaigns.
The Colorado Lottery has enlisted actor Lee Majors to reprise his Steve Austin character from the hit 1970s TV show The Six Million Dollar Man for a series of new image spots. Meanwhile, the Washington State Lottery has tapped Jack La Lanne, TV’s original fitness guru, to promote its new Lucky for Life game.
The first two of the Colorado Lottery’s six new spots from Karsh & Hagan in Denver broke statewide last week. The $1.2 million campaign, the first flight of which airs through November, aims to humorously show that lottery winners are regular people with no superhuman abilities.
The spots show Majors, decked out in his character’s trademark red sweatsuit, chatting with actual Colorado Lottery winners, mildly indignant that they have become “million dollar” men and women without having any special skills. In one spot, he challenges a $7 million winner who is washing his truck to an arm-wrestling match. The man is reluctant, but is eventually coaxed into it. The spot ends with the man rubbing his sore arm and Majors smugly saying, “Gee, Bill … for $7 million, I thought you had something.”
In another spot, Majors is having tea in the kitchen of another millionaire, an elderly woman, who describes some of the things she’s purchased with her newfound wealth. “Yeah, but I bet you don’t have your own sound effects,” says Majors, who then mimics the sounds heard on the show when Steve Austin performed his bionic feats.
The difference between the down-to-earth winners and Majors’ arrogant bionic character helps reinforce the lottery’s continuing message, captured in a new tagline: “Now anyone can be worth millions.”
“These spots show a side of Lee Majors most people have never seen. He is very funny,” said Karsh & Hagan creative director Don Poole. “And strategically these spots are right on target, helping prove any average Joe can win the Lotto.”
Separately, Publicis’ Seattle office (formerly EvansGroup) is airing its first TV work for the Washington State Lottery since winning the $7 million account earlier this year.
The spots, airing statewide to promote the new Lucky for Life game, star 83-year-old La Lanne, who “personifies the message of good health and long life,” said Publicis creative director Gail Anne Grosso.
With the game offering players a chance to win $1,000 a week for life, the ads emphasize that the longer you live, the more you win. They mix clips from La Lanne’s ’50s TV show with shots of him exercising today. “I’m going to show you how to feel better and live longer, so you can win more,” he says.
The campaign airs through November. An array of print ads and promotion materials will complement the TV ads.