Magazine article Marketing

The Lottery Challenger

Magazine article Marketing

The Lottery Challenger

Article excerpt

The Health Lottery's Martin Hall says it has a wealth of innovation up its sleeve.

When The Health Lottery burst onto the scene last autumn, with a campaign featuring characters with rainbow Afros and a voiceover by Brian Blessed, the burning question was whether the Northern & Shell-owned enterprise could make a mark on a category dominated by one player for almost two decades.

Just nine months later, the structure of the organisation has already shifted, with chief executive Martin Hall stepping aside to a non-executive role, and David Wall, an IT specialist, taking the reins as chief operating officer. Marketing director Sarah Tinsley-Benson left in March; her remit is now Wall's responsibility, with Hall still helping to steer The Health Lottery's marketing strategy.

Hall - who, as an FMCG marketer, led major campaigns at Cadbury, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola and Kraft, before rising to general manager at Premier Foods - says The Health Lottery's failure to reach initial ambitious targets had no bearing on him stepping down.

He insists that a plan is in place, from evolving campaigns to innovations, that will steer the challenger brand to success. Hall also points out that this weekend, The Health Lottery expects to break the pounds 20m mark in the money it has raised for good causes. However, it seems certain it will fall short of its initial annual target of pounds 50m, with the figure more likely to be in the region of pounds 30m.

Taking on a dominant brand is nothing new for Hall, who helped reinvigorate Kenco despite the strength of Nescafe 10 years ago, before going head-to-head with 192 directory enquiries when he was commercial director of The Number (118 118).

The Health Lottery undoubtedly faces a Herculean task in its struggle against chief protagonist Camelot, the National Lottery operator. While its rival is challenging the decision by the gambling commission to license The Health Lottery, Hall remains focused on building brand awareness and participation.

Speaking to Marketing, he insists: 'We are the little guys here.' Hall goes on to explain how The Health Lottery has positioned itself to win over players. Marketing: How do you approach marketing as a challenger brand?

Hall We've had to find a game that offers something different, which is key when you're the challenger. …

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