MAM

Playwin sets aside Rs 200 m. for ad blitz

MUMBAI: It's paying out big money. And not just in prizes.



Playwin, the online lottery wing of Subhash Chandra's empire, has set aside a mammoth budget of nearly Rs 200 million for promoting the newly launched Maharashtra lottery for the first two months. Full page advertisements in daily newspapers and an extensive outdoor presence mark Playwin's promotions. A recurring presence on all of Zee's channels is an added bonus for the online venture.



Playwin head Sanjay Das says the Bonus Ball scheme launched in Maharashtra in December 2002 and Maha Lotto, that followed it last week, have met their initial targets in terms of ticket sales. The profile of the targeted customer has changed, says Das, as Maha Lotto requires participants to part with Rs 100 for a ticket. While the returns promised are equally huge, Das says the company, which earlier targeted the younger set and the middle and lower middle classes, is now also looking at targeting the office goers and higher end executives, luring them with creative ads across media. "It is an FMCG product, and we have to sell it like one," says Das.



All three of agencies employed by Playwin for the purpose - Ambience, Saatchi & Saatchi and O&M, as well as Madison - the agency of record, have been roped in to create the buzz required around the online lottery to lure in more of first time customers.



Das says the company has also instituted an inhouse research team that has been meticulously monitoring the effectiveness of the ads across geographical locations, as well among different age and class groups, feedback from which is being used to create the next set of ads.



While Playwin's ambitious plans of spreading its wings across other states may have got a setback with the Tamil Nadu government issuing a blanket ban on the sale of all lotteries on Thursday, Das says the company is still eyeing the markets of Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab, among others. "We will keep launching in different states, in keeping with the regulatory environment in those states."

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