Camelot is hoping its new advertising campaign, unveiled this week,
will signal a change in its fortunes.
The campaign replaces Saatchi & Saatchi’s famous finger of fortune and
the ’It could be you’ strapline. The new work from WCRS takes a much
softer line, hedging its bets with ’Maybe, Just Maybe’ and features
images of communities and organisations that have benefited from the
The message will be that even though you might not have won your fortune
with your ticket, we’re all winners because of the lottery (Story, page
Camelot believes that a new, more benevolent, advertising message will
help revive its fortunes and boost sales in both its online and
But there are two distinct problems when it comes to marketing the
lottery, and advertising alone will not solve either of them. The first
is that the lottery’s launch gloss and promise has long since worn
Regular players have pumped hundreds, if not thousands of pounds into
the draw with little or no success. The mega-payouts of its launch
captured the popular imagination and caused a feeding frenzy by the
Many people now think that their odds of winning a major prize are so
small they might as well not bother.
Camelot has to change this way of thinking. One way would be to abandon
the jackpot in favour of more winners pocketing smaller amounts.
The second problem facing the lottery, but potentially just as damaging
to sales, is the poor standing of the Camelot brand. In the past couple
of years it has been involved in a fat-cat pay rise row and, indirectly,
a damaging legal action. One of its founding members, G-Tech, was forced
to quit Camelot after losing a libel action brought by Richard Branson,
in which a jury decided that G-Tech director Guy Snowden had tried to
bribe the Virgin chief to stay out of the race for the lottery
Aside from all this Camelot is widely seen as a company which could not
fail to make money when launching a government-backed lottery in a
Camelot is addressing the problem. It has announced that a bigger share
of the profits from the lottery will now go to charities, which is a
step in the right direction. It also clearly wants to receive some
credit for running what is still the most successful lottery in the
world. But Camelot knows it has a job on its hands if it is to convince
the government to renew its licence in 2001.
Otherwise, like many of its customers, it will finally know how it feels
to be a loser.