The Gift is in the Giving: David&Goliath for California Lottery

Our goal is for the California Lottery to be the number one Lottery in the country.

California Lottery continues its tradition of encouraging people to give Scratchers as gifts to both friends and acquaintances (18 and over), especially to those people who are often forgotten during the holidays. This could be a neighbor, barista, hairstylist or anyone else that adds to your life on a daily basis. The campaign is grounded in the insight that a gift as small as a Scratchers ticket can have a big impact on someone who may not be expecting anything at all.

The centerpiece of this year’s campaign is a longform spot, “Neighborly,” that tells the story of a woman who observes and experiences the lack of personal interactions between residents in her apartment building, in a day and age where people do all their gift giving online. She then decides to break the norm by giving all her neighbors gifts of Scratchers—the good ol’ fashioned way, hand-delivery. But first she cleverly addresses all the envelopes “TO:” and “FROM:” different apartments. The result is an apartment building that goes from strangers living in silos to friends coming together to celebrate the best part of the holidays—each other.

Not only do we see it snow in California, hinting at the magic in the air, but the spot is set to an equally magical track appropriately titled, “Signals,” by up and coming artist, Júníus Meyvant. D&G collaborated with the directorial team The Guard Brothers – whose commercial work helms from the likes of Audi, Sony, Nike, Xbox and Stella Artois.

"The creative idea behind this campaign is rooted in a simple human truth that giving is the real gift,” said David Angelo, founder & chairman of D&G. “Scratchers are something small but can become something momentous when given to the right person. And in a world where there are so many distractions that keep us from having real, genuine interactions with people, a personal gift can help bring them together. In the end, the gift is truly in the giving, and that’s in addition to the all possibilities that Scratchers can bring.”

Greg Buri
Group Creative Director David&Goliath

Give us an overview of the campaign, what is it about and what was your role in the creation

This year's campaign is all about restoring faith back into the act of physically giving somebody a gift, versus ordering it online and having a computer generated greeting printed on it. This plays into the strength of a Scratchers ticket itself. You can't order it online. You have to go out, buy it in a store, then hand deliver it or mail it to someone. I like to think of it in terms of a good ol' fashioned holiday card with a meaningful message inside, only in this case a Scratchers ticket is a card that contains an intention that can change someone's life forever. It all adds up to our campaign idea which is, The Gift Is In The Giving. My role as the Group Creative Director is to help make sure what we do delivers that message.


Was the brief for this holiday campaign any different than the usual? What challenges did that present?

The brief was consistent with what we've been doing year after year, which is establishing holiday Scratchers as the perfect gift for acquaintances, friends and all those people in your life that make your day-to-day a little better, like a neighbor, coworker or personal trainer. Our challenge with every campaign is bringing this message to life in a new way that gives the product, and Lottery brand, more depth and meaning, so when people see our advertising, it speaks to them in a way that it hasn’t before.


What inspired you to approach the campaign this way?

The work we've been doing on the Lottery is always inspired by what’s going on around us. It’s grounded in reality. In this case, we looked around us and said, the world could stand to be a little more neighborly. Articles and studies are all talking about how human interaction during the holidays is down given the convenience of technology. That runs contrary to what the holidays are truly about: Connecting with friends and loved ones, reaching out to others and, of course, giving.


What’s a “behind the scenes” story that only you know about?

There are lots of “behind the scenes” stories but one that stands out is the snow scene. Let's just say, it'd be a miracle if it snowed in southern California for real. It's still a miracle even if it's part of a production.


Are there any holiday ad tropes that you think should be retired by now?

Yes. Fruitcake jokes in ads. You’d think someone would just change the recipe already so it would taste better. Then we could all move on from continually poking fun at this poor bread filled with densely-packed trail mix or something.


What is your favorite holiday campaign of all time?

There are so many brands that have done so much great holiday work. That being said, I tend to look forward to holiday campaigns instead of looking back on them. I feel like Holiday advertising is becoming an event. Not to compare it to Super Bowl but brands are putting more and more weight behind their creative and making their work feel more like an event. And I think, more and more, people are looking forward to seeing what’s next every year during the holidays.


What can we expect from your agency in 2019?

Our goal is for the California Lottery to be the number one Lottery in the country. I think our best work is ahead of us and that’s a good motivator to continually push the envelope. And I’m not referring to the envelopes that are seen being pushed under people’s doors in our TV spot.


What do you think the advertising industry's New Year’s resolution should be?

Far be it from me to tell the entire advertising industry what it should resolve to do, but I might suggest we ask ourselves, how can our work and message add value to people’s lives? How can it stand for something? It never gets old, but people don’t want to be sold to, they want to be spoken to.