What Do Women’s Rights, a One-Armed Surfer, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and the First Man on the Moon Have to Do With the California Lottery?
None of them could have been possible without this single word: Believe. Because in order to achieve the seemingly unfeasible, you must truly believe that big things are possible.
When the California Lottery was ready to launch Powerball, they decided they needed a different approach than anyone had ever attempted before. With only about 30% of Californians feeling positive about the Lottery brand, they needed to go beyond just showcasing Ferraris or yachts in advertising. They needed to start changing perceptions about the Lottery and its players. The Powerball campaign begins a new stage for the Lottery, giving the brand meaning beyond opulent stuff.
Like California itself, the California Lottery is a brand that stands for optimism and opportunity, and they wanted to see those values reflected in their campaign. They wanted to create something that was bigger, more inspirational and more of a mindset.
But standing out wasn’t their only challenge. Powerball is a national game played across the US, which means the odds, as well as the rewards, are that much greater. Which means you really have to “Believe.”
The launch has two distinct phases.
The first phase is to get people to believe in the word “Believe.” To that end, giant billboards with the single word “Believe” will appear all over California. This tease has no mention of the Lottery. The reason for this is to ensure credibility and make sure that consumers don’t feel like they are being sold to — to give them an opportunity to just savor the word. So when they eventually find out who the message is coming from they will respect them even more.
Alongside these billboards, we’ll introduce a series of iconic images of events and people that overcame huge odds because they believed: a women’s suffrage march; the fall of the Berlin Wall; the first man to walk on the moon; Bethany Hamilton, the teenage girl who lost her arm in a shark attack but believed she could keep surfing; and Robbie Knievel’s infamous jump over the Grand Canyon. None of these events would have been possible without one incredible word: Believe.
On August 18, 1920, women gained what was rightfully theirs: the right to vote. Proof that anything is possible when you believe. After losing her left arm in a shark attack, pro surfer Bethany Hamilton got back on her board and inspired millions. Proof that anything is possible when you believe. On May 20, 1999, Robbie Knievel had the guts to jump the Grand Canyon. Proof that anything is possible when you believe.
The second phase is the launch of the theme line, “Believe in Something Bigger.”
But “Believe in Something Bigger” isn’t just a theme line, it’s a mindset — one that inspires people to think beyond what’s possible. To be part of a movement of optimism and larger-than-life dreams, and to serve as a filter for the Lottery and the people who play.
To kick off this phase, the California Lottery is applying a multi-tiered approach starting with “RedBall California.” Working with world-famous artist Kurt Perschke, gigantic red balls will begin to appear in unexpected places all across California, with the final red ball ending up at the official Powerball launch party in Sacramento on April 10, 2013.
Then they will launch the campaign itself, starting with an epic :60 cinema/TV/viral film, shot all across California by Academy Award-winning cameraman Janusz Kaminski. The film shows millions of white balls softly falling to earth in a snow-like fashion as consumers look on in amazement. All of this is set to an inspirational choir version of the song, “California Dreamin’.” In the end, a single red ball lands in a man’s hand. As he joyously looks up, spreads his arms and smiles, a title appears and reveals the completed tagline: “Believe in Something Bigger. Powerball.”
In addition, an online contest is being held inviting Californians to create their own version of the song. The winner wins a cash prize and the chance to realize their dream by performing their version live at the April 8, 2013, launch event and gaining exposure through all the PR and social outlets.
Replacing the inspirational tease posters will be headline executions encouraging people to “Believe in Something Bigger” with Powerball. For example, on the freeways one billboard will read: “Adopt a highway. All of it.” Another, posted only in Los Angeles, will read: “L.A. doesn’t have a football team. Fix that.”
A “Believe” website will encourage Californians to post their dreams and continue the conversation of “Believing in Something Bigger.” So where did all this believing come from?
What better place to look for such a movement than an ad agency called David&Goliath — an agency built on the premise of overcoming huge odds and big challenges? The agency was founded by David Angelo, who also happens to be one of the creators behind the iconic “Hey, You Never Know” campaign for the New York State Lottery.
According to David, “Times have changed. Advertising used to give people something to buy, now it needs to give them something to believe in.”
“The Powerball launch gives the California Lottery an opportunity to shift the brand conversation from desperation to inspiration. We’re not just trying to sell Powerball tickets, we’re trying to inspire a movement — one that encourages people to believe in infinite possibilities and change the world around them. This platform will also allow us to talk about the positive impact the proceeds have on the school system in much more credible and authentic way.”
“Because when you Believe in Something Bigger, anything is possible. Anything.”