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feeling and emotion than pitching a value

proposition, like spend $1 for a chance to

win a life-changing jackpot.

You used “Hey, you never know” before, years

ago with your in-state lotto game, right?

G. Gurney:

It is important to refresh

the messaging even if it still seems to be

working well. The “Hey, you never know”

worked very well for us, but we wanted a

refresh. So we just put it on the shelf for

a few years and decided now was a good

time to bring it back, and it connects very

well with our brand image.

We are deliberately steering ourselves

away from some of the hard sell appeal to

jackpot fever mentality. Even the “I make

a way better rich person” we used for our

Lotto is intended as a tongue in cheek

view of how people believe they would be

more realistic in their use of new found

wealth than imagined eccentrics. At the

time we used this last year, our state Lotto

was hitting some high very jackpots, like

$40 million. This campaign was very ef-

fective because it points out

that $5 million or $2 million

or even $1 million is a lot of

money and a life-changing

event for most of us. And

when you think about how

it’s going to change your

life, you’re going to do “rich”

much better than these other

people. Younger adult fanta-

sies are typically not all about

being rich and self-indulgent.

This campaign creates space

for the millennials to imagine

how they would help other people and

fulfill other aspirations.

We look back at what has worked over

the past nearly 50 years and resurrect and

recast some of the successful strategies and

marketing themes that have worked well

before. Even our branding includes some

of the colors from the 70s, which we think

are fun and whimsical. Right now, our

branding is more of an invitation to just

be yourself and imprint your own attitude

and imagination onto the playing experi-

ence. We want consumers to see us as a

playful brand, to find an interesting game

that they can think of as their own little

diversion or break in life.

It’s less about creative and original than

about optimizing ROI, applying resources to

produce the best result.

G. Gurney:

Absolutely. We also move

promotions around to keep our expenses

down. It costs money to run promotional

campaigns every day for an entire week

and refresh every week. But still, it is im-

portant to maintain visibility and keep it

fresh for the consumer. So now we mix

it up. A campaign might have a promo-

tion run just one day a week, or for just a

few hours a day. And we have brand mes-

saging that attracts attention to specific

promotions—like improving the chances

to win higher prizes if you play during a

preset two hour period, like during lunch

time. Buy the ticket during these hours

and increase your odds to win by 50%.

Or play this particular game to receive a

bonus play. Normally we run our Quick

Draw promotions in the early evening or

late afternoon. Now we’ve inserted one at

lunch time to create a slightly different of-

fer. These promotions appear to be fresh

and new but cost much less than what had

become our standard promotion. Maybe

they’ll cause the consumer to change their

routine, try doing something different,

like buying a lottery ticket. Players that

may have always played on Thursdays try

playing on Tuesday to take advantage of

the promotion. Also, we find that these

promotions that may have been conceived

for the purpose of reducing promotional

costs are actually pulling in new consumer

groups. Rather than going back to the

same core players with enhanced value

propositions, we try to maintain visibility

and mind share of the core players, and fo-

cus on reaching new player groups at the

same time. Promotions that are different

but simple have the virtue of not alienat-

ing our core players. And ultimately, that’s

what it is about—broadening the player

base in the most cost effective way.

The NY Lottery also just won two

North American Effie awards for effi-

ciency in Marketing. It was for a project

to locate a winner who hadn’t claimed a

Cash4Life ticket worth $7,000,000. Op-

erational efficiency is fundamental to our

business model. This was a very low-tech

guerrilla marketing effort with stick figure

posters that we affectionately called Mr.

Sticky—partly because of the stick figures

and partly because it stuck with the media

and consumers.

New York has the biggest marketing budget

in the country. Yet you focus as much on ROI

as anyone.

G. Gurney:

Marketing and

promotions are as much about

logistics, operations, and the

science of demographics, as

they are about creative adver-

tising and promotion. We do

have a robust marketing plan,

but that has to be fully lever-

aged in order to connect with

a very diverse consumer base

in New York—remember we

have a population of nearly 20

million that is spread across 10

DMAs and generate nearly $8 billion in

sales. New York has the highest cost of ad-

vertising in the country. When you look

at it that way, we are under as much pres-

sure as anyone to eke out every ounce of

ROI from our spending. Each jurisdiction

has different sets of challenges, different

sets of resources and circumstances to deal

with. We know we can’t advertise every

single game, or reach every single con-

sumer in a predictable way. So we focus

perhaps more than most on building the

brand, creating awareness, and promoting

the spirit of fun. Our thought is that in-

We need to capture that new

player info in the form

of player registrations so that

we can develop a relationship

and communicate

with them going forward.