Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Not your regular lotto ticket: This agency hit the jackpot with its 2019 interactive TV commercial! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

July 13, 2023

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson:

Are you familiar with guerrilla marketing? 

For those of you who aren’t, guerrilla marketing is an unconventional marketing strategy that’s usually fun, easy to appreciate and execute, and sometimes, inexpensive. 

I personally like reading articles featuring such marketing stunts. They remind me that advertising a brand or a new offering doesn’t always have to be too formal or conventional. 

Ready to know an example of brilliant guerrilla marketing? 

Keep reading to learn how this gaming institution in New Zealand hyped up the public with a 90-second TV ad in 2019. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

In New Zealand, Lotto players range from 18 years old to 108 years old, with the majority of players aged 45+. Since this age group is inclined to use traditional media such as TV, radio, etc., Lotto New Zealand tends to spend a HUGE portion of their budget on TV ads every year. 

In fact, the agency’s “Imagine” TV commercial series are consistently rated as New Zealand’s favorite ads, have won Grand Effie Awards, and have contributed winning business results. These ads are proven to reach the older Lotto players. 

However, in 2019, Lotto New Zealand realized that to maintain its brand health, it needed its TV ads to be more engaging and relevant online to reach the younger market—those who don’t watch TV often—too. 

So, what did Lotto New Zealand do? 

It partnered with marketing agency DDB Aotearoa to create the one-of-a-kind “L05T” (read as “lost”) TV ad

Before we proceed with the campaign’s details, allow us to ask you this question: 

Imagine you found out that the Lotto ad you watched wasn’t just an ad, but an actual Lotto ticket… what would you do? 

Ignore it? 

Rave about and act on it? 

Keep your eyes glued on the TV screen every time the ad is aired? 

Most likely, you’ll do your best to figure out the hidden clues in that Lotto ad for a chance to win the grand prize or at least the runner-up prizes! 

That’s what happened in Lotto New Zealand’s “L05T” TV commercial. In a campaign that literally turned an ad into a game, people were compelled to watch the commercial again and again, and forwards, backwards, and frame by frame for those who were able to record it. 

The only thing people didn’t do was skip or ignore the ad. 

Here’s how the campaign played out: 

Just like an ordinary Lotto draw, there were 8 Lotto numbers hidden throughout the “L05T” ad. People only needed to find 7 of those numbers to create their ticket and win the NZD 10,000 grand prize or the NZD 1,000 runner-up prizes. 

This idea of searching for the Lotto ticket was embedded in the entire story of the ad—the main character in the commercial was looking for her lost Lotto ticket, and similarly, the viewers were also looking for a ticket of their own. 

The campaign team didn’t reveal the idea immediately when they launched the TV ad on June 21, 2019. During that time, people were simply watching the commercial without knowing there was more to it. 

A month after, on July 21, 2019, Lotto New Zealand leaked the idea and published a newspaper article about it. The campaign team also announced the idea behind the ad on the National Live Lotto Draw. 

After the announcement, the campaign team also created an interactive site where Lotto players could actually pick out the hidden numbers in a game-like mechanism. 

Those who were stuck in the game got clues from Lotto New Zealand’s social media pages. There were also new clues given in the weekly National Draw to further promote the campaign. 

If you would like to try your luck at finding the “L05T” numbers, click here, although don’t expect to win a prize because the prizes had already been claimed in 2019. 

Was Lotto New Zealand’s “L05T” campaign effective? 

The New Zealand public were hyped up once they knew the TV ad had hidden clues for them to create their own Lotto tickets. Both young and old players participated in the campaign and unleashed their inner detectives to find the “L05T” numbers. 

As Damon Stapleton, Regional Creative Chief Officer of DDB Australia and New Zealand, said: 

“We wanted this ad to bring people one step closer to experiencing the thrill of a ticket. It’s not just the main character in the ad who’s searching for the lost ticket—it’s also the viewer.” 

What were the results of the campaign? 

  • Over 200,000 New Zealanders spent a total of 872 days of combined time on the interactive site searching for the “L05T” numbers. 
  • A total of 53,000 people succeeded in finding 7 numbers hidden in the ad. 
  • Lotto New Zealand saw a 5% sales increase over every National Draw—from the commercial launch to the winner announcement. 
  • Lotto New Zealand’s social engagement rates grew by 421% throughout the duration of the campaign. 
  • The campaign won a Silver Spike at the Spikes Asia Awards in 2019 and a Wood Pencil at the D&AD Awards in 2020. 

Congratulations, Lotto New Zealand and DDB Aotearoa! These results show the “L05T” TV ad was effective not just in engaging the older market but also in getting the attention of the younger market. 


As you can see from today’s feature, guerrilla marketing can be ANYTHING that captures your target market’s attention and compels them to interact with your brand. This could be in the form of an out-of-home (OOH) stunt, digital campaign, and more. 

In the case of the “L05T” campaign, Lotto New Zealand hit the jackpot when it thought of a plan to engage both young and old Lotto players with just one BIG TV ad. 

By turning searching through the 90-second commercial into a game and making finding each number rewarding, the agency captured its target audience’s interest, to the point where thousands of them spent an average of 6 minutes exploring the ad. 

Get inspired by today’s guerrilla marketing feature! 

Unleash your creativity and spark a sense of thrill in your own marketing campaigns. These will enable you to connect with your target market, pique their curiosity, and boost your brand’s sales, engagement rates, etc. 

Ready to hit the jackpot with your next marketing strategy? 

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
Powered by Valens Research

View All

You don’t have access to the Valens Research Premium Application.

To get access to our best content including the highly regarded Conviction Long List and Market Phase Cycle macro newsletter, please contact our Client Relations Team at 630-841-0683 or email client.relations@valens-research.com.

Please fill out the fields below so that our client relations team can contact you

Or contact our Client Relationship Team at 630-841-0683