Alchemy3 staged a post-cruise webinar in February to provide a recap on a national basis for Power Cruise 2018, which set sail on January 15, 2018 from Tampa. From all accounts, Power Cruise was a big success.

“The promotion exceeded the Iowa Lottery’s expectations and was a great example of how to promote Powerball on a national scale,” said Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich. “Player’s reaction and their experience topped our expectations. Accessing social posts and comments will greatly enhance our second shot at this Powerball endeavor.”

From the start, the goal of Power Cruise was to generate excitement and provide a reason to play Powerball during lower jackpot periods.
“For the Texas Lottery, Power Cruise provided us with the opportunity to use the strength of the well-known Royal Caribbean brand to promote the Powerball game and engage with our draw game players,” stated Texas Lottery Executive Director Gary Grief. “Power Cruise was an easy to implement, easy to communicate and easy to play second-chance promotion that was positively received by both retailers and players. The Texas Lottery sent 110 winners on the first Power Cruise and we have heard that they had a great cruise trip experience!”

Social Media Report Card

A key part of measuring the success was measured by the reach of the digital marketing strategy. Here is the rundown:

  • Total Impressions: 1.1 million
  • Instagram: 320,000 impressions and 669,000 reach
  • Facebook: 258,000 impressions, 151,000 reach and 11,000 video views
  • Twitter: 151,000 impressions and 243,000 reach

Millennials were the group that engaged the most in the social media component of the program. Alchemy3 reported that millennials aged 25-34 represented the largest demographic (25% female and 18% male), followed by GenX aged 35-44 (11% female and 8% male).

“I was impressed with the number of winners who tweeted and did live Facebook during the cruise. The social interaction gave Powerball a fresh, new audience,” said Rich.

“We captured the experience of all the winners and how Powerball benefited from the social media execution,” said Derek Gwaltney, Director, Marketing & Business Development, Alchemy3. “Power Cruise 2 can leverage the exposure of the first sailing and impact more Powerball players across the country.”

Promotional Overview

The 2018 Power Cruise promotion involved 26 lotteries, 960 winners, a five night Caribbean cruise with roundtrip airfare for two, hotel and transportation, $250 ship credit and $150,000 on-board prizes. There were private concerts by Goo Goo Dolls and FloRida. Marketing support included a 30-second TV spot, POP creative designs and development of the Collect ‘N Win app and microsite.

Creating the first national Powerball cruise promotion was a two-year project. “The effort is intense. The entire Alchemy3 team did an incredible job in getting us where we needed to be for the promotion and everything leading into the sailing in January 2018,” noted Gwaltney.

To keep the excitement high, there were hourly drawings to win a $500 gift card. The cruise culminated with the Grand Prize Drawing to win $50,000.

In addition, lotteries sent staff to interact with their lottery players and provide support. Rich also recommended more lottery executives attend Power Cruise 2. “I would encourage more lottery staff to attend and see the appreciation customers have for our brand and product. Because we ‘owned’ the cruise, we may be able to do more contests and Q&A sessions to educate our loyal players about the brand,” he stressed.

A popular feature onboard was the “Kenny Kam” featuring Alchemy3’s Marketing Coordinator Ken Andrey documenting the lottery player’s adventure of a lifetime. Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich also assisted with the “Did You Know?”asking winners about fun facts.

Not surprisingly, the interaction between winners created strong relationships. “What we saw was our lottery players coming together and sharing stories,” said Gwaltney. “We got a lot of feedback that they really liked this. One of the recommendations for future cruises was to have branded lottery t-shirts. We were excited to see how they wanted to socialize.”

Alchemy3 created a 3-minute “Sizzle Reel” for lotteries to promote Power Cruise 2. It utilizes actual winners’ experiences from the cruise. “We wanted this to be an adventure of a lifetime. I think we really delivered on it. We really saw this in the feedback from the winners. We embarked on a unique social media strategy,” said Gwaltney.

2019 Power Cruise

There are 23 lotteries signed up for Power Cruise 2. The five-night Majesty of the Seas cruise sets sail on January 19, 2019. There will be 800 winners. The trip will depart from Ft. Lauderdale then travel to Nassau and CocoCay Bahamas. Kenny Loggins is the music headliner. The promotion launches on April 14, 2019.

“Lotteries have had great success leveraging brands on the scratch side of our business to engage players, drive interest in lottery games and increase sales,” explained Grief. “Power Cruise 2 is important for the Powerball game and the draw category as a whole because it will continue to leverage the strong brand awareness that both Royal Caribbean and Powerball possess while creating a unique experiential prize opportunity for our current players and hopefully new players that find a cruise prize package appealing.”

“Testing a new national promotion was a risk, but the knowledge gained to make this experience better was worth the effort,” seconded Rich.