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17 December 2010

Ray Charles Ft. In TV Commercials For Wisconsin Lottery (2000)

In 2000 Ray Charles signed a contract with MDI Entertainment, allowing (according to a press release full of humbug): "[...] state lotteries to team up with the legendary Ray Charles". I already wrote about campaigns for the State Lotteries of Oregon, New Jersey (see also here) and Georgia.

On 24 September 2000 the Wisconsin Lottery also launched a TV campaign. The account was handled by Hoffman York. Ray sang an original jingle, titled You Don't Have To Play To Win, penned by Hoffman's Tom Jordan.
The TV campaign was followed by a special promotion on 26 January 2001, entailing "second chance bonus drawings", offering grand prize packages such as "Winner's Choice trips for two to attend one of Mr. Charles' fabulous concert performances, [...] including backstage passes to meet Mr. Ray Charles in person, [and a] signed artist proof portrait of Mr. Charles. The portrait is the work of famous Wisconsin artist George Pollard [see illustration]". In addition, there were "some 1,400 merchandise prizes, including Ray Charles limited edition prints, music CDs, Tee shirts, key chains and more". The tickets cost $2, and the top cash prize was $25,000. Source here.

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