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15 March 2010

Ray Charles Featuring In Georgia Lottery Commercials (2000)

This campaign was conceived and produced by Austin Kelley Advertising in Atlanta.

Adweek (Feb, 21, 2000) wrote:
"Georgia native and music legend Ray Charles sat down behind a studio microphone last week, starring in a series of television and radio commercials for the Georgia Lottery.
Created by Atlanta's Austin Kelley Advertising, the new campaign's objective is to increase awareness of the lottery's $3.3 billion contribution to the state's educational system since 1993. Charles completed three 30-second TV ads and one 60-second radio spot in a single day while in Atlanta.
'I can't believe that if a kid studies hard enough, the lottery will help pay for his college,' Charles said. 'That's pretty cool.'
It was also pretty cool for agency executive creative director Jim Spruell, a part-time musician who got to talk with the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer.
'It's great when your hero also turns out to be a real sweetheart,' Spruell said. 'It was beautiful.'"
The spots were followed up by a campaign featuring James Brown (read this).

Also read this article on MDI's role in Ray's lottery commercials, and this press release on campaign extensions for the Georgia Lottery in 2001. An MDI press release of 13 July 2000 stated also that "Mr. Charles sang Georgia on My Mind" in the context of the Georgia lottery campaign.

The three commercials were titled For The Future, 10+10 and Old McDonald:

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