Lotto 6/49 guarantees ‘O.M.G.’ moments

To reach casual players, BCLC shifts the focus from big jackpots to the million dollar prize that comes with every draw.

People smiling ebulliently, walking along a tropical beach. A driver cruising along a coastal highway. These are the images and scenes that often appear in lottery ad spots, almost always focusing on the grand-prize winner.

However, the latest British Columbia Lottery Corporation campaign for Lotto 6/49 bucks this recurring theme by instead focusing on the One Million Guaranteed (“O.M.G.”) second prize that is awarded every draw. The spot shows a husband drying dishes at the kitchen sink, asking his wife if they’ve “hit the Lotto 6/49 jackpot.” The wife responds in an apathetic tone that they didn’t, until she looks again and realizes they’ve won the guaranteed prize, evoking an “O.M.G.” reaction from the whole family.

The premise of this idea was rooted in research that showed many B.C. residents and Lotto 6/49 customers were unaware Lotto 6/49 offered them two chances to win: one for the regular jackpot, and a second opportunity for the “Guaranteed One Million Dollar Prize.” The main objective of the campaign was to raise awareness of the second chance opportunity and establish a better understanding of it to Lotto 6/49 customers.

“We’ve done some national research with Ipsos, and more than half of Canadians in that research considered it to be a beneficial feature that gave them another chance to win,” says Veronica Varhaug, category manager for lotto, regional games and winners at BCLC. “We really loved the way that this campaign allowed us to help tell that story – kind of old news, in a new way.”

Varhaug notes that this “Guaranteed One Million Dollar Prize” game has been around since 2013, as part of a game enhancement to Lotto 6/49. So why does there appear to be little awareness, as the BCLC claims?

“Traditionally, lottery players are quite familiar with our [main] jackpots and we always lead with our jackpot messaging,” she says, adding that they’ve “flipped” that around this time. There are also a lot of “jackpot chasers” out there who play only when the jackpot amount climbs higher, Varhaug notes, adding that this campaign is primarily directed at “moderate and light players.”

“Of course, we have our core players that are loyal. They are familiar with the fact that this guaranteed prize exists. But it’s all those other players out there that are maybe playing because they are jackpot chasers and don’t realize that there’s this added feature to the game that when they do discover that it exists, it excites them and makes them want to play,” she says.

Creative agency Pound & Grain led the campaign, which started on Dec. 30 and runs in B.C. for 13 weeks. MediaCom is handling media buying.