Minn. Lottery: Even Losers Win

NEW YORK Lottery advertising understandably tends to focus on the money you hope to win. But what about the money you’ll lose if you don’t hit the jackpot? The Minnesota Lottery figures you’ll be more inclined to play if you feel good about that money, too. So, its advertising, via Colle + McVoy of Minneapolis, spotlights the lottery’s funding of environmental protection. In the latest execution, a man is walking through the woods and sees some trees chewed off near ground level. Sensing that beavers are building a den in an adjacent pond, he takes a stick in his mouth, dives into the water, coming alongside a beaver who appears quite unfazed by this spectacle. Arriving at the den, he presents the stick to the resident beaver/builder. A voiceover chimes in: “Last year, your lottery gave nearly $50 million to the environment. So when you play, it’s like you’re helping nature.” And you get to do it without swimming fully dressed with sticks in your mouth. This approach might not be compelling for people who aren’t already lottery customers, but it’s a shrewd way of encouraging repeat business—not the easiest task for a product that almost always fails to deliver on its brightest promise. If you feel like an eco-philanthropist when you’ve purchased a losing ticket, it’s a safe bet you’ll be more likely to keep on buying.