With lotteries around the world in the midst of planning holiday instant game portfolios, there are several specialty products trending in Europe. Innovative twists on Advent calendars and even gift tags—made possible by advanced game programming and manufacturing technology—continue to win big sales and share the holiday spirit with players.
“Specialty products like pop-up Advent calendars are a big trend in Europe, particularly for the upcoming holiday season,” said Paul Dures, Director of Sales for Scientific Games, whose team works with some of Europe’s most successful lotteries to plan holiday instant game offerings. “In Nordic countries, Advent calendars have been an integral part of the holiday product mix for more than 20 years. Now, they’re moving from a flat product to a pop-up game that engages and entertains players.”
Dures said seven or eight European lotteries plan to offer Advent calendars with the specialty Pop n’ Pak™ option. The colorful calendars have 24 perforated panels—one for each day of the season —that “pop” when opened to reveal a scratch area beneath. Ideal for premium price points, the calendars can be produced in multiple formats to fit specific themes.
“These specialty games are entertaining, and they are perfect for gift giving,” Dures said.
In Norway, lottery players can look forward to Stor Julekalender [translated: Big Christmas Calendar], an over-sized Advent calendar with Pop n’ Pak game play featuring traditional Norwegian characters that capture the magic and nostalgia of the holidays. The calendar sells for NOK100 (just under U.S. $12).The lottery, Norsk Tipping, also plans to offer a smaller version of an Advent calendar for NOK50 (just under U.S. $6). Both games are also available online.
“The Christmas season is very important for us, and we see that the Norwegian players embrace our products as part of their Christmas traditions,” said Silje Tysse, Head of Lottery Games and Instant Tickets for Norsk Tipping.
Lotteries in Europe’s Nordic region prefer to feature traditional images and cartoons that are part of the local culture on holiday specialty products. In Europe’s southern region, Christmas trees are popular images. And in central Europe, holiday products tend to feature more generic imagery.
But regardless of imagery or tradition, specialty games can be big revenue generators during the holidays.
“We continue to track the highly successful sales of holiday specialty products and apply these insights to developing new, and more engaging products,” Dures said. “The holidays in Europe are a season of giving, of memories, and growing excitement. So we want to deliver on every one of these experiences for players with new specialty products.”