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Making It Meaningful With Real Stories

Making It Meaningful With Real Stories

Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

February 11, 2020

Havas Paris relaunched FDJ’s Loto® with a sweet film that focused on the simple lives of winners before they became millionaires.

"Unlike other lotteries that try to draw players' attention by highlighting clichés about millionaires' lives, we preferred to show a 'normal' life about to take a turn"

Havas Paris and Française des Jeux (FDJ) stirred up a new desire to play Loto® with a captivating campaign that focused not on cliché lives of millionaires, but instead on the simple existences of real-life winners before they hit the Loto® jackpot. The campaign’s short film cleverly tells the story of real-life students Chloé and Maxine, who won €3 million in 1993 when they played the barcode numbers on the back of their bottle of milk. Other components of the campaign, including digital ads, also focused on the true stories of winners whose lives changed forever by playing random numbers, inspired by average things like phone numbers, and the shoe sizes of their families. Creative Directors Guillaume Blanc and Florian Roussel chat about the unique campaign and how it even convinced their team that they could be millionaires. 

The campaign focuses on the average lives of Loto® players before they became millionaires, rather than the aspirational aftermath. How did your team come to this concept?

We decided to tell true stories that people could relate to. We wanted to show that before winning the jackpot, Loto® winners are people like everyone else. Instead of saying “That’s what you can have”, we preferred to say “That’s how it can happen” because that’s what people want to know. When you learn that someone won, you always ask yourself how did it happen and how did this person choose the numbers? 

What are some of the challenges facing Loto®? Why was this campaign important to re-inspire players?

Faced with European lotteries which offer larger and larger winnings, it was necessary to stand out. Unlike these lotteries that try to draw players’ attention by highlighting clichés about millionaires’ lives, we preferred to show a “normal” life about to take a turn, thanks to a detail that seems to be insignificant. For Loto®, a brand which is a part of French people’s everyday life, we wanted to get closer to them by telling true stories that could be theirs.

The campaign focuses on real French people who won jackpots by playing random numbers. What was involved in seeking them out?

These are entirely true stories of winners that are out of the ordinary and preciously preserved by FDJ. It would have been a pity not to share them and we hope to tell you many more in the future.

The film tells the story of Chloé and Maxime, students who won €3 million in 1993 by playing the barcode number from their milk bottle. Why did you settle on this particular story?

This story in particular caught us by its originality. They were a couple of students, who were not used to gambling, that played the numbers from a barcode on a milk bottle. It was something unexpected and at the same time ingenious.

What was the process behind evolving this story from an idea into an engaging 30-second film?

We asked ourselves how we could highlight this surprising, unexpected aspect of the story. We didn’t want to just show a couple playing Loto® during breakfast. We decided to focus on the milk bottle because that’s what’s going to change everything. We wanted the bottle to be the main character of the movie, and so we travel with it and we become attached to it.

While working on this campaign did your team feel compelled to play Loto®?

Yes. After reading over a hundred stories of different winners, each more improbable than the next, we thought “Why not us?” Unfortunately none of us even won a euro!

"Unlike other lotteries that try to draw players' attention by highlighting clichés about millionaires' lives, we preferred to show a 'normal' life about to take a turn"

Havas Paris and Française des Jeux (FDJ) stirred up a new desire to play Loto® with a captivating campaign that focused not on cliché lives of millionaires, but instead on the simple existences of real-life winners before they hit the Loto® jackpot. The campaign’s short film cleverly tells the story of real-life students Chloé and Maxine, who won €3 million in 1993 when they played the barcode numbers on the back of their bottle of milk. Other components of the campaign, including digital ads, also focused on the true stories of winners whose lives changed forever by playing random numbers, inspired by average things like phone numbers, and the shoe sizes of their families. Creative Directors Guillaume Blanc and Florian Roussel chat about the unique campaign and how it even convinced their team that they could be millionaires. 

The campaign focuses on the average lives of Loto® players before they became millionaires, rather than the aspirational aftermath. How did your team come to this concept?

We decided to tell true stories that people could relate to. We wanted to show that before winning the jackpot, Loto® winners are people like everyone else. Instead of saying “That’s what you can have”, we preferred to say “That’s how it can happen” because that’s what people want to know. When you learn that someone won, you always ask yourself how did it happen and how did this person choose the numbers? 

What are some of the challenges facing Loto®? Why was this campaign important to re-inspire players?

Faced with European lotteries which offer larger and larger winnings, it was necessary to stand out. Unlike these lotteries that try to draw players’ attention by highlighting clichés about millionaires’ lives, we preferred to show a “normal” life about to take a turn, thanks to a detail that seems to be insignificant. For Loto®, a brand which is a part of French people’s everyday life, we wanted to get closer to them by telling true stories that could be theirs.

The campaign focuses on real French people who won jackpots by playing random numbers. What was involved in seeking them out?

These are entirely true stories of winners that are out of the ordinary and preciously preserved by FDJ. It would have been a pity not to share them and we hope to tell you many more in the future.

The film tells the story of Chloé and Maxime, students who won €3 million in 1993 by playing the barcode number from their milk bottle. Why did you settle on this particular story?

This story in particular caught us by its originality. They were a couple of students, who were not used to gambling, that played the numbers from a barcode on a milk bottle. It was something unexpected and at the same time ingenious.

What was the process behind evolving this story from an idea into an engaging 30-second film?

We asked ourselves how we could highlight this surprising, unexpected aspect of the story. We didn’t want to just show a couple playing Loto® during breakfast. We decided to focus on the milk bottle because that’s what’s going to change everything. We wanted the bottle to be the main character of the movie, and so we travel with it and we become attached to it.

While working on this campaign did your team feel compelled to play Loto®?

Yes. After reading over a hundred stories of different winners, each more improbable than the next, we thought “Why not us?” Unfortunately none of us even won a euro!

Patricia Murphy is a content creator with a background in digital health and lifestyle journalism. She loves to chat and tell stories.

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