Publicis Plays Washington Lottery’s Scratch Game

Instant gratification is the name of the game in a campaign by Publicis in the West for the Washington State Lottery.

Four TV spots for the lottery’s Scratch game broke last week. This is the first time the Olympia, Wash., client has advertised Scratch in two years. Campaign spending is under $1 million. Overall, the client spends $7 million annually on advertising.

“We wanted to increase sales and bring back awareness of Scratch,” as well as attract new players, lottery instant-product marketing manager Elizabeth Grabinski said. “It’s time to remind players we have a fun game and find ways to connect with them.”

Scratch sales are up 4-6 percent compared to last year, Grabinski said.

The 15-second spots position Scratch as “a quick, innocent form of fun,” said Kevin Kehoe, co-president and chief creative officer at the Seattle agency. “It’s a good form of spontaneity instead of the other little things you attempt in life to get a burst of fun,” he said.

The four spots humorously explore the downside of other forms of fun. In one, a woman mischievously and gleefully slides down a railing, only to get a thick black stain on the back of her skirt. In another spot, a man smashes a wall in his boss’ office when he takes an innocent swing with a golf club.

Other ads show a man using tape to reconfigure his eyes, nose and mouth and a woman who ends up covered in Chinese noodles after jumping out from behind a pillar to scare a co-worker. “For better instant fun, play Scratch,” says a voiceover.

The ads will air through December, mainly during morning shows and evening and late news. The push also includes point-of-sale materials.

The creative team included senior art director Nancy Aquino and copywriter John Reid.

The Seattle shop has handled the account since 1998. The contract was recently extended through December 2002 [Adweek, Sept. 3].