Design > Brand-building

THE NEW YORK SERIES STATE OF ART

McCANN , New York / NY LOTTERY / 2021

Awards:

Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

Credits

Overview

Background

The mission of the New York Lottery (NYL) is to help fund education across New York. The state relies heavily on NYL for financial support. But in early 2020 New York was one of the epicenters of the COVID-19 crisis and NYL faced rapidly declining sales. Fewer people commuting to work and shopping meant fewer people buying our products. Sales—and thus revenue for New York State—were declining.

But as New York began easing restrictions, NYL needed to put their foot back on the gas pedal to drive sales. We were tasked with creating a new product to get things turned around. This new product needed to not only kick-start sales but galvanize the state’s entire population

Describe the creative idea

We knew a conventional lottery game wouldn’t be right for the moment. So, we developed a new product that appealed to something more emotional than the desire for cash.

The idea was to turn the act of playing a Scratch-Off into an act of state pride. We emblazoned five ticket faces with iconic scenes from around the state. We named the tickets, “The New York Series.” Buying one, meant New Yorkers were getting a piece of the state and investing in its renewal.

New Yorkers’ unprecedented love for their state deserved unprecedented design. The conventional rules are to make the tickets loud, colorful and gaudy; or to add lots of dollar signs and pictures of cash. We threw out the rules and partnered with a New York artist to create a more artful Scratch-Off, designed to stand out in retail environments that are cluttered and overly colorful.

Describe the execution

Conventional lottery games feature loud, neon designs and themes of money/wealth. We broke those rules. Instead, we designed “The New York Series” in meticulously delicate black and white line art.

Each ticket represented a famous icon or majestic region from New York State. A New York artist hand-drew each ticket, from the typography to the landscapes, and even included diverse representations of New York’s population.

Depictions include the Brooklyn Bridge, Coney Island and Niagara Falls as well as beautiful landscapes of the Adirondack Mountains and Finger Lakes. Each ticket also featured “Easter Eggs” only locals would know, like a mermaid on the beach, a barrel going over the falls or graffiti on the water towers.

The intention of designing in black and white was to create a work of art that popped off the shelves in retailers across the state and signaled our very singular message of New York pride.

List the results

The New York Series proved to strike the right balance between emotional storytelling and product appeal. Despite a challenging sales period, overall brand opinion rose 6% and positive social sentiment rose to 91.82% during while the New York Series was in market. The tickets themselves performed better than any other $5 Scratch-Off Game since 2019. Not to mention generating over $24 million dollars in sales to help fund education in New York State.

As for softer metrics, NYL received numerous phone calls, letters and emails from residents across New York State with requests for posters of the tickets and overall praise of the campaign.

In many ways, New York Series served as an updated blueprint for successful product launches for New York Lottery. It was a potent reminder of the importance of letting human insight guide product development and, of course, the story we tell about those products.

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