Connecting to Consumers with Engaging Technology


"We want you to think outside the box." It’s the only thing you hear more at an ad agency than "make my logo bigger."Your client comes to you with a request to do something big –  a stunt or nontraditional idea that will put their brand on the forefront of thousands of people’s minds in one fell swoop.To put it simply, we wanted to get our consumers to interact with the Arizona Lottery in an interactive, experiential way.But how do you do that without being too intrusive? How do you capture the attention of new consumers without making them gag the next time they see your client’s logo because the only thing they remember about them is the time they tried really, really hard to be cool and ended up looking really, really lame?

Stunts are great. We’ve done a few at OH including my personal favorite, Jonathan Call Scott. But sometimes stunts can be too in-your-face and leave people confused or, worse, pissed off. Plus, I’ve noticed a lot of other agencies in town attempt stunts that should live on /r/cringe (flash mobs are NOT cool anymore).

Activations are neat, too. We’ve seen some success with the Arizona Lottery account and the <“Giant Pickaxe”> placements we did for the launch of our Windfall Willie campaign. The only downside was that we were asking people to physically get out of their house and participate.

Promotions (buy this get this) also work well to introduce your brand to consumers, but the tricky (and obvious) issue there is that people have to be willing to spend money to get the free something you’re giving away.

So, we needed something that wasn’t too meddling, something that people could do without exerting any extra effort and, most importantly, something that was free. Easy, right?

Actually, yeah. Here’s what we did:

Using our partnership with iHeartMedia and their connection with national musical acts, we created an Arizona-only Scratchers® ticket that allowed players to enter for a chance to attend an exclusive concert hosted by the Arizona Lottery.

Since our audience was already engaged, there was no need for an over-the-top stunt that shoved the Arizona Lottery brand in their faces. All we needed a simple but interesting activation that made people think of our client in a new way.

So, we set out researching different music-related activations. We looked at things that major event production companies like Goldenvoice (Coachella) and Super Fly (Banaroo) were doing at their festivals. We thought of ideas like a VIP Lottery-themed lounge for winners to hang out in on stage, virtual reality experiences and online singing competitions for consumers to participate in before and during the show.

While most of these ideas were “cool,” none of them really achieved our goal of getting a mass amount of people involved in an easily-executable way.

We finally found it. Customizable LED wristbands that we could program for a cash giveaway during the concert. It checked all the boxes we were looking for: it wasn’t invasive, it didn’t require any effort and it was free.

The idea was simple: any audience member 21 and up would get an Arizona-Lottery branded LED wristband for a chance to win $1,000. The contest would be just before the headlining act took the stage, and the winner was determined by whoever had the last blinking wristband.

In short, the activation was a success. We used our street team to hand out the wristbands as the concert-goers shuffled into the venue — this was easy to accomplish since we were shouting things like, “Win a thousand dollars for free!”

Then, throughout the concert, our LED technician (yours truly) manned the controller to make the wristbands change colors in sync to the beat of the music.

This immediately grabbed the attention of the audience, and even some of the musicians on stage. The wristbands turned into part of the show. The venue was on board, the bands were on board, but more importantly, the audience was on board.

Then came time for the giveaway. Our partners at CrowdSync developed a sequence of steps that automatically ran the contest so all I had to do was press a few buttons and watch the wristbands turn off one by one until we had our final blinking, winning wristband. I began the sequence and listened the crowd start cheering in excitement.

Whether they realized it or not, everyone in the audience was experiencing the thrill of playing the Arizona Lottery; the “what if…” moment that you only get when buying a Scratchers ticket or jackpot game. After about a minute of intense cheering, we were able to spot our winner and the contest was over.

The concert carried on, we gave a working mother a check for $1,000, and the heading act gave the Arizona Lottery (and the wristbands) a shout out on stage. Best of all, we heard a few people say things like “Who knew the Lottery did cool stuff like this?” upon exiting the venue. Mission: Accomplished.