- The Minnesota Lottery is bringing back National Football League star Jared Allen for a campaign that includes an augmented reality (AR) lens on Snapchat for bringing billboards to life. The lens turns out-of-home (OOH) ads into a virtual post-game ice bath, giving Snapchat users a chance to "share in the joy of what winning really feels like," according to an announcement by creative agency Periscope.
- Allen appears with his signature mullet haircut, horseshoe mustache and #69 player jersey in the campaign that also includes TV, digital and radio ads for the lottery's latest Minnesota Vikings-themed scratch-off ticket. The full one-minute clip highlights a team superfan, Jan Hansen, showing off her "Jan cave" full of Vikings memorabilia purchased with her lottery winnings.
- Fans can visit the lottery's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages for a chance to win "Jan-The-Ultimate-Fan" giveaways of Vikings merchandise.
In a sign that AR lenses are being recognized by a wider array of marketers beyond the biggest spenders as a marketing tactic, the fresh campaign for the Minnesota Lottery's latest scratch-off ticket aims to leverage fan excitement around the kickoff to this year's NFL season while engaging smartphone users with a stronger presence on social media and interactive content.
Snapchat is popular among young adults, giving the lottery a chance to reach consumers who are becoming old enough to buy scratch-off tickets or participate in its other games. The app's parent company Snap last year said about 70 million users play with its AR lenses every day, giving advertisers a chance to engage audiences with brand-immersive content like the Minnesota Lottery's lens.
The "Jan cave" effort aims to boost sales of scratch-off tickets, whose revenue has lagged amid the Minnesota Lottery's gradually increasing operating revenue. Scratch-off sales rose 3.2% to $185.3 million in 2018 from the prior year, which didn't keep apace with the 12% sales gain for lotto tickets and the 6% lift in total operating revenue.
While lotto games like Power Ball and Mega Millions generate more publicity and revenue than scratch-off tickets by pooling together bigger jackpots, the Minnesota Lottery is working to drum up buzz for its new offering by capitalizing on the football season's kickoff and ad content with more relatable storytelling around entertaining ways to use winnings.
The Minnesota Lottery is among the organizations that that have combined mobile technology with OOH advertising, which is a channel that can influence consumers to visit physical locations and can trigger measurable responses on smartphones. Coca-Cola's Fanta soda brand paired its traditional OOH advertising with Snap's AR technology for an immersive campaign last week. McDonald's last month ran an OOH promotion that included an integration with Snapchat to bring ad posters to life with AR images.