Cactus has been selected as the agency of record for the North Carolina Education Lottery. As the lead creative agency, Cactus will be focused on integrated strategy, creative development and production for campaigns utilizing traditional broadcast, digital, social media, and point-of-sale.
Under the three-year contract, the new partnership begins in October with new work early in 2022. The North Carolina Education Lottery typically launches 48 to 52 scratch-off games each year, and Cactus will support monthly launches of new scratch-off games with unique creative campaigns as well as supporting various draw games with campaigns throughout the year. Cactus will also take the creative lead on campaigns for branding, beneficiary, and responsible gaming messaging.
The mission of the North Carolina Education Lottery is to raise money for public education in the state. Since the start of the lottery in 2006, it has grown into a $3.8 billion a year sales and marketing organization and has raised so far more than $8.5 billion for education. The lottery has become an integral part of the state’s culture with the entertainment it provides as well as support for the retail economy and the benefits it provides to education programs.
“Creative advertising plays a crucial role in the success of our lottery and we need it as we bring new games and promotions to the marketplace each month,” said Mark Michalko, executive director of the lottery. “We were impressed with the quality of the creative, strategy and consumer insights Cactus presented. They have a great deal of lottery experience, but they didn’t just rely on that. They showed a deep curiosity about our players and learning what they enjoy about lottery games. Cactus showed themselves to be the right creative agency for us and we look forward to Cactus becoming a true partner in our business.”
Cactus has significant experience working in the lottery space, most notably a 14-year partnership with the Colorado Lottery. According to Cactus Founder & CEO Joe Conrad, the successful partnership with the Colorado Lottery and the agency’s reputation in the industry was integral in winning the business.
“While the North Carolina Education Lottery is only 15 years old, it’s already renowned as one of the most successful and well-run lotteries in the industry,” Conrad says. “Its brand messaging taps into lottery players’ inherent optimism and desire to dream about a possible win for themselves and for their community. This positioning has provided a way to talk about the lottery that is relatable and relevant to all North Carolinians and helpful in building a deeper emotional connection among players. We plan to build on the lottery’s brand voice while also emphasizing how the lottery has raised more than $8 billion for state education programs.”
Jeff Graham, Cactus President & CMO adds, “Cactus exists to grow the brands that help people thrive in their lives. Brands that truly make the world a better place to live, work and play. We call them ‘thrive brands’ and North Carolina Education Lottery’s mission of ‘igniting the power to dream’ through the fun of play that raises billions for education’ is perfectly aligned with our agency. We look forward to putting our deep lottery experience to help accelerate growth in their business and benefit North Carolina schools.”
Other New Business Wins And Recognition:
While the North Carolina Education Lottery was certainly the biggest recent new business win for Cactus, it was hardly the only one. The agency is on pace to match its 2020 pitch performance with 11 new business wins across several of the agency’s practice areas of travel & tourism, financial services, healthcare and behavioral health and retail/CPG.
Additionally, Cactus won a Batchy Award at the NASPL (North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries) conference for its “Winning Country” Lotto+ campaign for longtime client partner, the Colorado Lottery.
Cactus is a strategically driven creative agency specializing in consumer behavior change. For 30 years, the agency has existed to work exclusively for the brands, causes, and nonprofits that help people thrive in their lives. Cactus is nationally known for groundbreaking campaigns in the behavioral health space like Mantherapy, a first-of-its-kind effort to combat suicide among working-age men. Driving behavior change is at the heart of everything we do at Cactus. The agency’s Belief & Behavior Design™ strategic process is built on decades of experience blending behavior change models with breakthrough creativity to achieve client’s desired business outcomes.