Sunday, October 01, 2017

Weekend Diversion: Lotto ads

The best ads tell stories, ones that draw us in and include us. Few advertisers in New Zealand are as good at as Lotto New Zealand, whose ad company has mastered visual storytelling—mini films, really—to draw viewers in so they can imagine winning Lotto and what it could mean for their own lives and families. Not bad for ads intended to sell what is, basically, gambling.

The ad above is the main ad currently running in New Zealand, and it has been for about a year. Part of their “Imagine” campaign, the ad is called “Mum’s Wish”, and it shows an answer to the question asked in the YouTube description: “If you won, what would you do for the ones you love?” Of all the Lotto ads I’ve seen over the years, this is one of my personal favourites.

The story ad running before “Mum’s Wish” was another story ad, “Pop’s Gift”, below:

Like the ad up top, this ad plays off themes of family and love, and how winning Lotto can enhance both. When it’s put like that, it sounds quite crass, really, but these ads are very effective and taking a crude message and making it heartwarming. It started running a couple years ago.

Both of these ads had several different edits of varying lengths shown on New Zealand television, but the versions I’ve shared here have all the elements of the shorter versions, and the longer versions have also been aired.

Before both of these there was a series of ads featuring Wilson the dog who dives overboard to save a winning Lotto ticket, and then travels the world to bring the ticket back home. The ending isn’t quite as heartwarming as the later ads, but it had a humorous end, which kind of made up for it. In its day, it was one of the most popular ads on NZ television.

There have been numerous ads for Lotto, and other games from NZ Lottery, and they’ve taken a number of different approaches. Some have been better than others, as might be expected, but but most have been pretty memorable, too.

And that brings me to the final ad I’m sharing, and it’s a flashback—you can tell because of the old TV aspect ratio. This ad was playing on New Zealand television when I arrived in 1995, and it ran for several years afterward. I always liked it, and still do, but it’s clearly an entirely different approach from their more recent advertising. But, like all really good ads, it was clearly memorable—for me, anyway.

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