How a focus on long-term brand building saved The National Lottery

Faced with a brand that was fast losing sales and relevance, Camelot devised a strategy to reclaim the role of The National Lottery in people’s lives.

It was one of the most exciting new brands of the 90s with the promise that ‘it could be you’, but by 2017 The National Lottery’s proposition had waned and licence holder Camelot realised it had a brand in trouble – something that was confirmed by an 8.8% decline in sales that year.

There were three problems: awareness of good cause funding was slipping and the brand was losing relevance; the products had become less compelling due to an unpopular change to the Lotto game mechanics; share of voice was declining due to increased competition from new lotteries and gambling brands.

Camelot devised three strategies to get the business back to growth and boost brand positivity. The first pillar involved repositioning the brand and linking play with purpose, including the launch of a new masterbrand and advertising campaign to help people emotionally connect with the brand.

The second pillar saw the launch of a fresh game proposition, Set For Life, in addition to making tweaks to other games so that each game had a value proposition and defined portfolio role.

Finally, Camelot made a commitment to high-performing media channels and maximising media effectiveness – harnessing the power of TV in particular.

Since the new strategy was deployed, Camelot has had four consecutive years of revenue growth and has seen an additional sales revenue contribution of £2.6bn compared to its previous model – amounting to over £500m of extra funding for good causes across the UK.

Brand positivity increased from a historic low of 33% to 45%, with YouGov’s BrandIndex ranking The National Lottery as the second most-improved brand in 2020, while game media efficiency has improved by 23% and masterbrand ROI is more than 20 times more efficient.

Camelot’s turnaround of The National Lottery earned it the 2021 Marketing Week Masters award for Long-Term Brand Building Excellence.