Cannes Lions

Good Causes


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The motivation to play is triggered by personal end benefit. However each play delivers a collective benefit for good causes. We decided to switch the conversation by reversing the psychology of buying a lottery ticket from winning to giving. The creative idea was rooted in giving players permission to lose and feel good about it.

Rather than focus on large numbers, ‘Lucky Stars’ beautifully and respectfully unlocked the individual stories of local beneficiaries. The context was compelling. Stories came from an emotional starting point as they were personally relevant, revealing the human impact of play. Beneficiaries were located countrywide and from a number of funding areas so players could discover stories that resonated and were relevant to them. Stories were then broadcast on a national stage, putting purpose at the core of play and celebrating the extraordinary work of ordinary individuals, both beneficiaries and players through the National Lottery.


A series of emotive films were produced and a cross channel placement strategy was designed to drive reach.

Social was the hub as it was the most cost-effective, engaging medium and had the ability to reach the right audience at the right time. Surround sound was delivered by amplifying the stories through local, broadcast and brand partnership placement. Between June and September 2015, journalists from the Irish Independent and Sunday World travelled to each beneficiary to retell their story. TV3’s breakfast show hosted beneficiaries on the sofa generating significant social conversation. Radio provided reach and intimacy as 2FM’s Tubridy Show broadcasted from beneficiary kitchens. Local media celebrated their beneficiary stories and the films were so successful that the stories were aired as a TV and radio ad. Our ‘lucky stars’ had become national stars and the engineering of the programme balanced reach, message frequency and consistency without losing story impact.


Our storytelling approach delivered impressive results from a reach and reaction perspective. The film series reached 2.3 million people on Facebook and Ireland shared the love with 631,200 Facebook video views and over 35,000 total engagements. TV and radio ad placement delivered a 79% reach with the core target of 25-44 year olds. Content was translated into earned and paid platforms delivering 4.2m of reach with 98% of placements carrying a minimum benchmark of two key messages.

Helping players make a connection between buying a lottery ticket and giving back to their local community switched the conversation. The National Lottery saw its first uplift in trust sentiment for three years, with a 20% positive shift in month-on-month advocacy and an operator approval rating high of 7.89 out of 10. What’s more the work informed a new long-term marketing plan that puts giving at the heart of the Irish National Lottery.

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