Oregon Lottery Finding the Fun

Oregonians get a fresh look at their state’s lottery this month in a major branding campaign from Moffatt/Rosenthal in Portland.

The effort is the first of its kind for the lottery in its 18-year history. Rather than dangle the prospect of winning millions, it positions all of the various games—including drawing and scratch-off cards—as a fun pastime.

Hart Rusen, associate creative director at the agency, said the work seeks to change the way people in the state perceive the lottery. “The lottery is synonymous with winning money, but that’s like telling people water is wet,” said Rusen. The new ads position the lottery as “more recreational,” he said.

TV, radio, outdoor, point-of-sale and promotional materials use the tagline, “Playtime.” The agency also collaborated with crosstown Web design firm Paris France to create www.oregon playtime.com.

The TV spots suggest that the lottery is so much fun, players will be unable to contain themselves. In one, a woman driving along a back road is seen scratching a lottery card while trying to keep an eye on the road. Much to her surprise, she slams into the mythical Sasquatch. The copy reads, “Scratch. Don’t scratch and drive.”

Another spot has a group of guys eating at a diner. One is scratching his card, and the silver flakes are falling on his buddy’s breakfast. The copy reads: “Reminder: Be courteous when you scratch.”

Rusen said the agency sought to convey a number of different tones of humor. “There are a variety of reasons why people play and a variety of things that can happen when you do play,” he said.

Moffatt/Rosenthal has worked on the account for eight years, and has retained the business twice in that time, after state-mandated reviews. The business is estimated to be worth $3 million.

The agency most recently defended the account last spring after pitching the idea of branding the lottery as a single entity. In the past, campaigns focused on driving interest in specific games or scratch cards.

The work will run through the end of the year.

Moffatt/Rosenthal was founded in 1991 and currently has a staff of 12. The Oregon Lottery is its largest client. Its other clients include Banner Bank, Copper Mountain Trust and Oregon Scientific.