Going to the Max

(Disclosure: Going to the Max was one of the last strategies I developed during my time with the good people at Colour.)

Perhaps Joel started something with his Video Monday mention of Going to the Max, Atlantic Lottery Corporation’s latest campaign for the recently launched Lotto Max. Marketing Magazine covers it here.

The brief for this campaign was pretty simple: Lotto Max – a bigger / better draw game than the soon-to-depart Super 7 – was about to launch. ALC was looking to raise awareness of the new game, targeting Atlantic Canadians (19-34). Without going into too much detail, that’s basically the Coles Notes of it.

I started thinking about this by trying to think of ways to pull people together and give them something to do…. something (an experience, etc.) to share with each other. From there, if we could give them an easy way to share that experience with most everyone else they know, then we might be able to tell a little bit of the Lotto Max story along the way. That story – quite simply – being that Lotto Max is, well, bigger and better. Lottery dialed to 11, etc.

So as I thought about lotteries in general, for some reason the picture of an old air mix lottery machine wouldn’t get out of my head. This led me to what I knew at the time as “zorbing” (it turns out this is a brand name for what is more generically known as sphering), a sort-of extreme outdoor bit of fun that involves two people strapping themselves inside a big plastic ball and rolling down a hill. With these two dots sort of connected, the rest fell into place rather quickly:

  • We could hold sphering events across Atlantic Canada
  • At the event, we could broadcast participant facial expressions from inside the ball side-by-side on large video screens… and all participants could vote on who had the best / funniest / etc face via text messaging.
  • Those same videos could then be posted online, where visitors could vote for their favorite video.
  • Most importantly, those same videos are also easily shared with your friends.
  • And, basically, if there’s a silly / fun video of you rolling down a hill while strapped inside a plastic ball, there’s a pretty decent chance you’re going to share that – right?

And… of course…

  • Participants could get a sample of Lotto Max at the event – preferably driving them to redeem online
  • And, in the process of finding out about this new lottery game, everyone gets to know that Lotto Max does things a bit bigger and a bit better than what your used to.

Promotion of the events happened largely via Facebook and Twitter with some help from a YouTube video, as well as radio, print, and guerrilla activations (the spheres can attract a bit of attention).

While I may well go into more detail in later posts, that’s the base thinking behind the campaign… essentially, success = bums-in-balls. The more people you can get strapped inside a sphere and sharing their video with others, the better.

And, so far, it seems to be going pretty well – with many videos raking in thousands of views following very well attended sphering events (there’s still one to go!). I’m looking forward to seeing how everything goes over the next while.

I should note that in addition to the many folks at Colour (Melissa, Suzanne, Joel, Jonathan, et al) who worked on this, a few Halifax-based folks also had a hand: Brightwhite Design, MGI Media, Spider Video, Time+Space and Agenda Managers.

As always, I’d love to hear what you think of it all!

Previously posted on

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