Beyond the ADDYs: Arizona Lottery

With one heckuva year, OH brought home 10 ADDY awards with the Arizona Lottery team. How was OH able to drive record-breaking sales through strategic creative efforts, and how can we continue to keep the momentum alive? Here’s the scoop.

The idea of reinvention can seem daunting, but it’s truly one of our favorite things to do. When the Arizona Lottery gave OH Partners the challenge of bringing more fun to the brand in a new and exciting way, we had to think big. Really big.

The concept needed to represent the Arizona Lottery and all it has to offer. After many brainstorms, cold brew refills, and a few headaches, it hit us. We didn’t have to go out and search for something brand new – the answer was right here the entire time.

To kick off the Arizona Lottery’s biggest campaign to date, OH brought back a familiar face. Windfall Willie, Arizona’s Chief Fun Officer, was back to reclaim his rightful position as the face of the Arizona Lottery. Instead of resurfacing the 1980s cartoon logo that had been used previously, Windfall Willie was reintroduced in human form in order to show players all of the new fun games he discovered during his hiatus.

But you can only make a grand entrance once. How could we keep the momentum of high brand recognition and record-breaking sales going after Willie was welcomed back?

Turn your audience into your ambassadors. To tease the return of Windfall Willie, OH worked with the Arizona Lottery to put together a scavenger hunt – only it wasn’t going to be difficult to find what we’ve hidden. Social media users explored Phoenix to find giant pickaxes, where they could take a photo and submit it online for their chance to win $1,000. Willie needed to make a splash as the reinstated CFO, and with the help of social media followers, the #GuessWhosBackAZ campaign used ambassador virality to garner nearly 800,000 impressions and over 65,000 engagements across various social channels.

Bring the character to life… beyond the :30s and :60s. Sure, you can film a TV spot, introduce a spokesperson and call it a day, but the Arizona Lottery wanted Windfall Willie to become the true face of the brand, and a figure that people will connect with and relate to on a daily basis. To do this, we created social media accounts just for Willie, where the character could really come to life. By engaging with players, showing them new ways to play, and even offering invaluable advice in the form of #WillieWisdom, he has become an essential member of the online Arizona Lottery community.

Create in the interest of the brand. To strengthen the brand beyond Willie, he became an integral part of one of the Lottery’s key missions: game education. With the launch of Fast Play, Willie was undoubtedly the perfect solution to showing players the new, lightning-fast ways to play and win. The return of Windfall Willie was less about bringing back an old character, and more about fusing fun with the brand to instill a sense of relatability and nostalgia that would ultimately lead to an increase in sales.

In the end, awards are great – but awards without results are just shiny objects. The work created with the Arizona Lottery ultimately goes to show that it takes more than just a big idea to build a brand. It takes consistency, collaboration and creativity—and maybe a quirky character to top it all off.