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Illinois Lottery Ad Wins Industry Award

Last week the joint gathering North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries and the World Lottery Association took place in Montreal Canada. The North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries (NASPL) was founded in 1971 and currently represents 52 lottery associations. The World Lottery Association was launched in 1999. The organization’s mission is to advance the interests of state authorized lotteries. Several awards were given out including the “Batchy Awards.” A 30 second radio spot by the Illinois lottery took top honors. The radio spot if from the Illinois lottery’s latest advertising campaign titled “Anything’s Possible.”

The Batchy Awards recognize creative advertising by the lottery industry. Forty lotteries from the United States and Canada submitted work at this year’s gathering. The awards were established 25 years ago and are named after Ralph Batch the first CEO of the Illinois lottery. Michael Jones, the current head of the Illinois lottery stated “Batch, a former FBI agent, exemplified the values of integrity and security which created the modern lottery business.” Downtown Partners/Chicago was named the Illinois Lottery’s ad agency of record last year after Jones and Northstar, the private group currently running the Illinois lottery, fired BBDO/Chicago, the previous agency of record.

he “Anything’s Possible” advertising campaign was the first effort by Downtown Partners and Critical Mass/Chicago who were in charge of the digital parts of the campaign. The current ads dismissed the lowbrow humor that had characterized past lottery ads. For many years the lottery’s advertising account moved from agency to agency. The new campaign does not focus on big money payouts and the new campaign points out the simple joys of buying a ticket and playing lottery games. Jones wanted to break with past advertising campaigns that he felt insulted the public’s intelligence.

The Illinois lottery could use the good news. Recently there have been issues between lottery head Jones and Northstar. According to Illinois lottery officials Northstar failed to meet stipulated profit goals in the agreement and should have to pay a multimillion dollar penalty. Northstar was supposed to generate $825 million but fell about $50 million short of the goal. Under the terms of the agreement Northstar is supposed to pay the state half of the shortfall which comes to $25 million. The dispute has been assigned a mediator and a final decision is expected soon.