Ohio Lottery Scratches That Itch

Even without the giant jackpots of the Powerball or Mega Millions, sometimes playing the lottery is just an itch you have to scratch. 

For a new campaign dedicated to the state’s full line of scratch-off games, the Ohio Lottery Commission introduces a character who gets perverse satisfaction from scratching. In the first of a series of television commercials (from agency Marcus Thomas in Cleveland), the character, while hiking in the woods, strips down to his underwear and jumps in a patch of poison ivy. The effort introduces the tagline, “Get ready to scratch.”

Subsequent executions, which will follow throughout the year, will depict the character exposing himself to mosquitos and buying a large amount of wool sweaters and wearing them all at once.

“It’s about the joy and happiness of just doing scratch-offs,” Glenda Terrell, account supervisor with Marcus Thomas, tells Marketing Daily. “It’s a way to illustrate how people like scratch-off tickets.”

The campaign marks the first time the commission has dedicated advertising for all of its scratch-off (instant-win) games. Previous campaigns have focused on individual games, and have been focused on during the holiday season. 

“Scratch-offs have become an important part of the lottery’s sales,” Terrell says. “They’ve become nearly 50% of the overall lottery sales.”

The campaign will also include radio, and a mobile games in which users scratch the a digital character’s itches before being redirected to the Ohio Lottery site. The television commercials, which will run in heavy-saturation, one week flights per month (except in December), will run on programming such as “America’s Got Talent,” “Revenge,” “The Big Bang Theory,” as well as sports programming. The mobile games will run on sites NFL, MLB, WebMD, MapQuest and Zynga, via Verve network. Total spending on the campaign is just over $4 million.

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