Ad Space – Like Used Scratch Games Down the Garbage Chute, So Are the Days of Our Lives

You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …

The Product:
Minnesota State Lottery Scratch Games

The Promotions:

The Pitch:
This is how much drama you get just from playing the lottery – imagine how interesting things’ll get once you win, and a bunch of greedy relatives, con artists, and seductive bad boys show up to steal your money.

Some commercials don’t have a particularly strong pitch for their product. These ads technically have one, implying that playing scratch games is as exciting as all these melodramatic events. But I don’t think that’s terribly convincing.

Despite that, I’d still consider these good commercials, because they’re just dang funny. They made a pretty good soap opera spoof (I genuinely laughed out loud at “He’s also your clone” and “It’ll take more than death to kill me”), and heightened the absurdity by having all these melodramatic plot twists occur in a convenience store. With that one store employee giving great “bewildered onlooker” face.

For some other products, I might say that simply being funny, but not saying much about the product itself, would make them good entertainment, but bad advertising. However, for lottery scratch games, I think being funny might be all you need.

Because scratch games aren’t something people need to seek out. You don’t need to convince folks to drive to the lottery store, or even walk down the lottery aisle at Target. If they go to a convenience store, any convenience store, for any reason, then they’re gonna be confronted by a bevy of scratch games when they go to the register to pay.

Most people, most of the time, will let their eyes travel across the scratch off tickets without really seeing them. But if, because these funny little ads stuck in their head, they take an extra second to notice these scratch games as the cashier rings them up … well, for this sort of impulse item, that’s 90% of what you need to make a sale.