The latest National Lottery ad. Heart-warming or out of touch?
So, after the recent conversations around Nike’s Dream Crazy, another ad has got people talking. And this time it’s the National Lottery’s ‘Fisherman’.
When the Lottery was first launched, I bought a ticket every week. Then, a year or so on, having won a life changing £10, I realised that, just perhaps, my numbers would never come in. I picked the same numbers each week, which made it hard to stop. But once I stopped, I never checked the numbers again. Just in case. Then I started again. And it wasn’t an ad that changed my mind.
I didn’t have the visceral repulsion many commentators seem to have had to the ‘London view of northern (Scottish) working class life’. I wonder if some were jumping on the approved-point-of-view-boat as it left the harbour. Of course, we shouldn’t accept crass stereotypes but is this ad it? There are far worse examples. My biggest concern is far more prosaic I’m afraid. This is a beautifully shot and crafted ad that clearly sets out to force a tear or two. And that naked ambition is starting to rankle. The John Lewis formula is thinly veiled. But even more frustrating is the speed at which that blasted house was bought! You lost me right there, through the tears. How long was that bloke at sea? Had he discovered the Galapagos? Sorry… lost… gone. Amazing? Unbelievable more like.
But I’m just a straw-poll of one. What do my colleagues think?
“In my mind, it’s on a level with the time Sainsbury’s used the misery and sacrifice of the first world war to flog chocolate at Christmas.”
Liam McKeown, Senior Web Developer
“Firstly, I am an absolute sucker for a happy ending, but I think what was really powerful was the idea at the end that people are innately good and hardworking. As in, winning the lottery didn’t mean that he’d never have to go out and work again but benefitted the family in another way.”
Alana Allen, Experiential Executive
“Shows people struggling and uses cheap misdirection at the end for emotional effect. It doesn’t empower anyone, essentially promotes gambling as a way of leaving your troubles behind and doesn’t address the fact that money/winning the lottery doesn’t necessarily make you a happy person with no family issues. These people could only achieve happiness/greatness because we gave them some money? I’m not sure that message really sits well with me.”
James Wright, Digital Campaign Manager
“Yeah this one’s a no from me. By the time the big twist comes I’m bored, and it delivers nothing on repeat viewing. And then I start nitpicking – how does she manage to buy a house and move in in such a short time? How long was his fishing trip, FFS? Why didn’t she buy a better house? WHY IS THIS AD SO LONG?”
Heidi Stephens, Planning Director
“I love it. Bit of a tear jerker. Which is always good, right?”
Matt Hardy, Chief Technology Officer
“I think I like it. I wasn’t moved, and I didn’t see a lotto ticket bought, so for all intents and purposes it could have been a Rightmove ad until the very end. (Not that anyone will ever get to the end if it ends up a you-tube ad with a skip button.)”
Lorna Flint, Data Developer
“I like the premise but I think it got lost in the post. The best thing about the lottery is the hope and the possibility it offers. There’s something really nice in ‘amazing starts here’ as an idea, so why make it dour, grey and only deliver the bit that makes you buy a ticket at the end? It’s hidden for too long.”
Will Marment, Planner
“Cry and buy.”
Fiona Welch, Senior Project Manager