ROCKY HILL, CONN., May 5, 2021 – When it comes to playing KENO, your numbers are waiting (and wanting) to be picked.
This week, the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, through its partnership with Decker, a strategic and creative advertising agency, and Makiaris Media, launched their “Your Numbers Are Waiting” KENO campaign. The theme behind the 360° campaign focuses on the unique personalities of numbers as they audition to be picked for a player’s KENO ticket.
“We are very excited about our new Keno campaign! Decker created a humorous concept with a fresh and fun spin from the numbers’ point of view. It’s a versatile and engaging campaign with tons of opportunities to reach a large audience across multiple media, integrating TV, radio, social media, retail point-of-sale items, and outdoor billboards,” said Pete Donahue, Senior Director of Marketing, at the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.
Key to the campaign strategy was some preliminary research that found awareness of the game itself (and where to play it) had been effectively seeded so the next promotional phase wanted to talk more specifically about the game itself. This led to an exploration of the process, of how and why people pick certain numbers for their KENO ticket and the eventual insight that all players seem to bring some sort of “game plan” to their approach to playing the game.
The Big Idea
While several creative directions were explored, it was the concept that turned the idea on its head that ultimately won the day by looking at the game from the perspective of the numbers themselves as they “audition” to be picked by the player. Personifying the KENO numbers in this way allowed the agency to craft individual personalities exhibiting a wide range of human strengths, weaknesses, and flaws. The cast leverages some fertile archetypes such as “the Diva”, “the Hippie”, “the Hollywood Legend”, “the Nervous One”, “the Lucky One”, and more and is highlighted by the bonus multiplier as “the Rockstar” who makes an entrance that is not to be missed. Each character brings their own quirky personality to the fictional audition world to provide a wide range of entertaining audience appeal to all channels of the integrated campaign.
In the series of (5) distinct TV spots, the Decker team brought the characters to life with oversized number costumes outfitted for each member of the cast. Viewers are given a “behind-the-scenes” look at the auditions and the interactions between the numbers. At the close of each spot, the VO and on-screen end tag reflects the campaign tagline: “Your numbers are waiting.” to tie the campaign together across all mediums. Additionally, all online advertising was directed to a super-fun landing page where viewers can share full-size photos of the cast along with their “bios” in which they make their best case for being picked.
“This was a true collaborative effort with our great CT Lottery client partners that fully embraced the vision of bringing these numbers to life. After a while, we got to know the motivation behind each of the numbers so much that we had several discussions around whether one number would really react in a certain manner or say a certain phrase. This allowed us to continually elevate and improve the concept along the way and make the campaign even funnier. It’s really rewarding to have such a great partnership,” said Jimmy Ashworth, Creative Director at Decker.
The campaign will live over a two-year period with several TV executions, radio, outdoor, digital, social media, and retail Point-of-Sale pieces.
“You know you have a strong campaign concept when it begins to take on a life of its own in the way this KENO campaign did. As our creative team built the character set, interactions began to write themselves in a way that felt truly authentic despite the absurdity (and genius) of the costumes and set design. This authenticity has been a consistent and vital thread in the work we’ve done to promote the lottery and grow a new, younger audience,” said Andrew Kesin, SVP, Strategy at Decker.
About the CT Lottery
The CT Lottery sales benefit Connecticut's residents in several ways. In fiscal year 2020, players won more than $822 million in prize money. Retailers earned more than $73 million in commissions. The CT Lottery provided $348 million to support the valuable services and programs funded by the state’s General Fund including public health, libraries, public safety, education and more. Since the Lottery began in 1972, the CT Lottery’s contributions to the General Fund have exceeded $10 billion.
Decker crafts distinct and powerful marketing campaigns for brands that connects them with consumers in meaningful ways in order to stand out from the competition by create impact that makes a positive difference. For more information, visit www.deckerct.com.