Camelot ads hit the jackpot - Camelot’s new ads take a more thought-provoking tack to show who benefits from the lottery and the role of chance in winning

Camelot has made a strong start in its bid to change its public image, as its new pounds 15m campaign for the National Lottery scores with viewers in the awareness ratings.

Camelot has made a strong start in its bid to change its public

image, as its new pounds 15m campaign for the National Lottery scores

with viewers in the awareness ratings.

With only three years of its seven-year licence left to run, the company

has opted for a decisive break with the past. Newly-appointed WCRS has

created a more thoughtful tone, with a two-sided campaign to explain the

uses of lottery money as well as encourage people to play.

Gone is the exuberant ’It Could Be You’ slogan that carried the lottery

through its first years. The new ’Maybe, Just Maybe’ strapline stresses

the enjoyment of anticipation as much as the prospect of winning.

Two executions, first aired early in December, offer a new slant on the

idea of chance. They show a series of events running on parallel tracks,

with the promise of an interesting connection that might or might not


In one a young man and woman seem destined to meet, but the contact

never quite takes place. When it finally happens it is due to an earlier

lapse of concentration in an Asian umbrella factory: the man’s faulty

brolly spectacularly takes off into the sky and she notices him staring

at the handle.

The second film shows a man out in the Scottish Highlands for a spot of

metal-detecting with his son. Flashbacks to a rowdy clan meeting 300

years earlier suggest they may be about to stumble across a bejewelled

brooch that got trodden in the ground.

’These are metaphors for doing the lottery,’ says WCRS managing director

Stephen Woodford. ’The campaign is about positioning it in the world of

possibilities, as opposed to the world of prizes.

’’It Could Be You’ was a brilliant launch strategy, but it’s time to

change. The intention is to stimulate people and be


Not the winning that counts

The campaign’s second objective is to make people feel relaxed about

losing. Two spots being shown since November introduce some of the

beneficiaries of the pounds 30m that the lottery hands out each week,

emphasising that the money is never wasted.

Research showed that people associate the payouts with controversial

beneficiaries like the Winston Churchill papers and the Royal Opera


But the ads show that communities benefit too.

One looks at the Peterlee Brass Band in Durham, which received a grant

of pounds 66,000 enabling it to buy new instruments and a mini-bus. The

other features the Terence MacMillan Stadium in London, which used

pounds 140,000 to fund a new athletics track.

Camelot has faced little competition since the launch of the lottery in

1994. This is changing: the recent launch of Vernon’s football lottery

game Easy Play is to be followed in the spring by a weekly online bingo

game, backed by major TV advertising.

But sales for the main draw continue to be solid at around pounds 85m a

week, according to marketing director Ian Milligan. It is Instants,

which has slumped since its launch in 1995, which will be the focus of a

sales-building campaign in the spring, based on the same themes.

However, sales for the main draw are clearly benefiting from the new

ads. ’There were positive signs in December, with our best weekly figure

since June,’ Milligan says. ’We scored our best percentage uplift on a

rollover from Wednesday to Saturday.’

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