National Lottery brand suffers from Lotto changes

Camelot’s recent changes to its Lotto game, including the doubling of its price, appear to have disgruntled the public according to YouGov data, but the National Lottery operator insists sales are on the rise.  


Earlier this year, the National Lottery operator announced its was to overhaul its weekly Saturday draw with the new look Lotto game offering users more opportunities to win new prizes, including a new ‘raffle game’ with 1,000 winners per week, jackpot prizes of £10m. 

Camelot kicked off its “biggest ever” marketing campaign in September to communicate the changes in the run up to the eventual introduction of the changes this month but data from YouGov’s BrandIndex shows initial consumer distaste with the overhaul. 

The National Lottery’s index score –  an average of a brand’s quality, value, satisfaction, recommendation, reputation and impression in the eyes of the consumers – dropped four points in the four weeks to 10 October, with its rating dropping from +1.0 to -3 during the period. 

Similarly, its brand ‘impression’ score dropped from 13 to 6 during the period, while its ‘satisfaction’ ranking slumped from 6.7 to 3.1 during the same period. 

YouGov’s data also shows that overall ‘purchase intent’ also dipped, with its ranking in this category dropping from 18.3 on 10 September to 17.7 as of today (10 October).

However, Camelot’s alterations and subsequent messaging have increased awareness of the brand, and struck a chord with its existing customer base in particular. 

Camelot’s ‘ad awareness’ ranking rose from 26 to 34 in the four weeks to 10 October (its through the line campaign kicked off in earnest on 26 September). Its ‘current customer’ score also rose from 39 to 41 during the period, according to YouGov’s data. 

However, Sally Cowdry, Camelot marketing director, maintains the immediate impact of both the Lotto changes and subsequent ad campaign have been positive and led to an immediate increase in sales. 

She says: “The launch of new Lotto represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make the changes needed to reinvigorate players’ interest in the game, reverse its sales decline and get it back into growth.”

Cowdry does acknowledge Camelot’s price rise will lead to an immediate drop in brand metrics but remains confident the “needed” changes to the Lotto proposition – which gives participants more chances to win prizes – will help it reverse a historic sales decline. 

She says: “When looking at brand health data, we recognise that there is often a lag in impacts on consumer sentiment.

“We are confident that the campaign we launched last month will help players truly understand the new game and the fantastic prizes on offer. This, combined with our current media partnerships and our ongoing work on the other key brands in the National Lottery portfolio, will mean that our strategy will pay off over time.”

In contrast, the Health Lottery, which launched a reactive campaign highlighting that its price tag was half that of the Lotto’s at just £1, has seen its brand metrics improve during the same period, with its overall ‘index’ score rising from -2.7 to -0.2 during the same four week period.  

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