Since the Camelot-operated National Lottery was launched in November 1994, sales of tickets have gone from impressive peaks into a decline.
In 1998, 75 per cent of adults played the lottery, but by last year that figure had slumped to only 61 per cent.
A variety of new games, such as Thunderball and Instants, have been introduced in an effort to encourage participation. But the fact that the chance of winning the big prize has been widely quoted as one in 14 million is believed to have depressed sales.
Camelot approached Harrison Cowley to generate regional coverage demonstrating that the odds of winning were more in people's favour than received wisdom would suggest. It said the key figure was in fact that one in 6,000 adults who play the Lottery have won, or shared, a jackpot prize, and that some regions had a higher percentage of winners than others.
To maximise positive media coverage in the 'lucky' areas at the top of a league table, and to minimise negative coverage in those postcodes at the bottom.
Strategy and Plan
In November, Camelot made available previously unpublished statistics showing which of the nation's 115 postcode areas had the largest number of jackpot-winning tickets as a proportion of their adult population.
The figures also gave total prize payouts and the number of millionaires created.
They were used to produce a league table identifying the 'luckiest' towns in the UK, based on the number of tickets worth £1m or more paid out from all Lottery games.
A press release with a league table of all 'lucky postcodes' was sent to regional press and broadcast media under embargo until 29 November.
It was decided to concentrate on local winners, so tailored releases with their details were issued to print and broadcast outlets in the top ten lucky postcodes and breakfast drops of tickets were made to key radio stations in those areas. It was hoped to avoid negative publicity in the unlucky postcode areas by highlighting Good Cause money spent there.
Measurement and Evaluation
There was a high level of interest from regional media with the story running in all of the key dailies in the top ten lucky postcodes. These included: the Yorkshire Post, Birmingham Post, Express & Star (Wolverhampton), Press & Journal (Aberdeen), Ipswich Evening Star and Glasgow Herald.
There was coverage on all of the radio stations targeted. Camelot representatives were interviewed on 24 stations including BBC Radio Scotland and BBC Radio Wales.
Even though some areas were shown as 'unlucky', the media reaction was generally positive, with more than 150 pieces of print and broadcast coverage.
Camelot did not track regional sales following the campaign.