December 07, 2015

Bearded Bucks: Minnesota Lottery Goes Hipster with Artist Chuck U

Bearded Bucks scratch-off cards from the Minnesota Lottery represent the peak of hipster state lottery operations. Not only can players win $10,000 by scratching off the beard of a lumbersexual to find craft beers and bird silhouettes but losers can also enter that card to win an art print signed by hipster artist favorite Chuck U.

Minneapolis-based ad agency Olson pitched the idea “and worked with the artist on the design of the ticket, which is unique and, given the number of bearded, plaid-wearing men in Minnesota this time of year, undeniably on-trend,” said Vicki Holets, Minnesota Lottery Marketing Manager

The Lottery is well aware it is satirizing Minnesota’s many hipsters. Its dedicated Bearded Bucks page begins, “Ladies and gentleman, hipsters and dudes, it’s time to get your beard on!” And, of course, there is the winning bird silhouette.

Why a bird, those unfamiliar with hipster icons might ask? Because, “putting a bird on it!” is what hipsters do. Kind of the same way craft beer is hipster. Speaking of craft beer…

And to promote Bearded Bucks, the Lottery went on a Tour De Beards that included craft breweries across Minneapolis-St. Paul. It also started a “Chancetaker” series, featuring Minnesotans like the co-founder of craft beer brewery Tin Whiskers, which also held a Lottery-sponsored beard contest in October.

And then there are the recent TV commercials best described as a combination of Wes Anderson scenes, Tumblr memes and Geico commercials.

“Customers have liked Bearded Bucks,” said Holets of the game’s reception. “The game is performing slightly above average for a $2 ticket, which we attribute to regular players liking the game and new customers trying out an eye-catching product.”

Hipster themes in state lottery communications are not new—18 months ago, New York flirted creatively with hipster stereotypes for its “Bejeweled” game.

But being a true hipster means being able to say you were into it before it was cool—and the Oregon Lottery can brag that it was doing hipster lottery back before it was cool. It even put a bird on it.

Nonetheless, the Minnesota Lottery has no intention of giving up on hipsters—Holets says it will “absolutely” do more “hipster” lottery promotions. “We had a blast promoting this game at craft breweries and other plaid-friendly locations, so we are working on new products that will appeal to that audience.”

Meanwhile lottery hipsters will have to vie with the lottery undead. Oregon Lottery’s latest theme is trendy zombies.

Not so fast Oregon, the student has become the master. Minnesota Lottery’s got its own zombie-themed lottery game. This one is a partnership with AMC’s The Walking Dead.

No comments:

Post a Comment