A Scratching Success: A Holiday Wisconsin Lottery Story

June 22, 2022by Hiebing

Christmas in Wisconsin is brimming with unique traditions – the smell of a freshly cut Christmas tree, the taste of pickled herring or the sound of scratching a lottery ticket you pulled out of your stocking. In June 2021, Hiebing was awarded Wisconsin Lottery’s Product Information Advertising Services contract – and we hit the ground running to drive their responsible gaming initiatives and creative endeavors. Our first swing at a creative campaign? Introducing six new holiday-themed lottery scratch games right in time for Christmas. We know the happiness of scratching a name off your gift list, and we wanted to incorporate that holiday cheer into the campaign across every touchpoint.

The Challenge: Feature Scratch Games as a Holiday Gift

With a saturation of gift options in the market, finding the perfect present can cause holiday jitters – and we wanted our campaign to remind Wisconsinites of the joy and ease gifting scratch games could bring. Even if gift recipients don’t win, there’s a joy to scratching to see if they’ve won. With a variety of price points ranging from $1 to $20, scratch-offs are easy, grab-and-go gifts for any budget. Our challenge became twofold: how to cheerfully garner awareness for the new holiday-themed tickets and how to display the versatility of scratch-offs as a gift.

The Strategy: Marketing to Holiday Gift-Buyers

Making the tickets the hero of the campaign was key to gaining the level of awareness we hoped for.
We wanted shoppers to feel both delight and relief at finding an easy and accessible gift. Since scratch-offs are the kind of gift you can pick up while out and about during the holiday season, we set out to highlight all the convenient locations where scratch-offs would be available: gas stations, grocery stores and your nearest department store.

Next, we knew the creative had to champion the versatility of recipients the scratch games could be gifted to: friends, family, coworkers, your child’s teacher, the very nice postman that delivers your mail with care. With affordable and available price points to meet any budget, the limited-edition annual scratch game options would be sure to bring snow much fun.

We chose to stylize our TV spot as a series of vignettes depicting authentic people in simple backgrounds and fun wardrobe who felt connected to each of the six scratch games they received. By design, each person in our spot had a parallel to the scratch game they received – a gnome collector elated at scoring a gnome-ish game, bowlers receiving games that match their team aesthetic and our good friend Barb, whose holiday décor is always hung with care, joyful that her holiday baubles game complemented her personal winter wonderland. The creative aesthetic used in the TV spot was infused across a variety of touchpoints to spread the holiday cheer, including a digital out-of-home bulletin, penny cup advertising, social posts, banners, gas station TV and a POS board that ran in local retailers as a good last-minute reminder for shoppers. In true Wisconsin Lottery tradition, we also created a parody holiday song radio spot to the tune of “Jingle Bells” that ran on local radio stations.

The Impact: $9MM Sales Increase in Three Months

The results of our campaign sleighed expectations, with sales to retailers within the first week of the campaign launch increasing by 19% YOY. From the launch of the holiday campaign in mid-October to mid-December, scratch ticket sales to retailers were up 7%, just shy of $9MM, year over year. The campaign delivered impressive reach across all digital and traditional touchpoints, culminating in a total of over 30MM impressions across the state of Wisconsin. The emotional connection with audiences in one integrated, cohesive campaign not only raised sales, but shaped a memorable product moment for scratch games.

The holiday cheer was clear, and these tremendous results drove momentum for Wisconsin Lottery all holiday season. Curious to know how your next campaign can gift you a connection with your target? Email Dana Arnold at darnold@hiebing.com to set up a call.

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