Life is full of boring moments: long lines, traffic, call queues. So, we made boring fun. Introducing The Waiting Game – the world’s most boring game. A 24-hour Instagram Live game and one more way we turned everyday life into a game while also driving sales of $20 Scratch-Offs.
Scratch-Off tickets are a product that requires your physical presence in order to purchase and enjoy. And even with pandemic-related foot traffic reductions to retailers starting to change in the spring of 2022, the world had become increasingly digital – and the fans along with it.
Additionally, for a product that appears to have few competitors (local casinos being the biggest ones), competition for people’s time and funds had grown increasingly steep.
Continue to find new ways to make life a game by engaging fans and potential fans in a game that made everyday boredom fun – and promote $20 Scratch-Offs in the process.
To make life a game, you first need to understand a typical 18+ Ohio Lottery player’s life. And while we could have spent time building surveys, running focus groups, etc. – there are certain pain points all humans experience.
High on the list? Boredom.
In fact …
And while there are many ways to tap into boredom, there’s only one tool everyone turns to when they’re bored: a cellphone. And from there, social platforms to help kill the time.
So, a live social show made perfect sense. And since connecting with younger audiences was a goal, Instagram fit perfectly. As for 24 hours? We wanted to give all people a chance to join us in their moment of boredom. And honestly, we wanted to see if it could be done.
From there, we had to determine the perfect location for people to wait. And while there were many suggestions (lines, bus-stops, DMVs) – there’s a simple beauty in the soft hum of the machines, the flat colors, simple angles, and mundanity of this endless modern chore that made laundromats the perfect choice.
Timeline: Planning/Dev: November 2021, Event: February 22, 2022.
Boredom may be simple; execution was anything but.
You see, we’d set out to create a 24-hour Instagram Live game show in a laundromat – and every word in that sentence posed its own problem.
The solution? We designed the entire show around a clean-plate shot. We secured three hours, found a quiet (enough) corner, and created multiple 5- to 15-minute scenarios (code reveals and filler content) to keep the show boring but just interesting enough.
To keep people playing all day, we created 24 five-letter code words – each another chance to enter – then scrambled these pieces into 24 unique, hour-long segments.
As for going live? We found a third-party software hack and, expecting to be shut down, told viewers the show would last “up to 24 hours.”
How’d it go?
We made it 24 hours, and not only were fans excited and engaged, they quickly banded together – working ahead to guess codes before they’d been revealed, hoping to find all 24 chances to win.
The Waiting Game was boooooorrrrrrrriiiiinnnnng. So boring, in fact, that people just couldn’t look away.
Objective: Get bored people to join us in turning life into a game.
Result: Not only did they join us, but they came out in force with 41K+ total entries and 2.5K+ unique contest entrants.
Objective: Consistently engage fans and hold their attention for 24-hours.
Result: Exceeded. Although Instagram provides few measurements for attendance, on average, there were always nearly 350 people on the stream at any time during the 24-hour period and over 4K unique watchers in a four-hour period. Plus, even at our lowest point (3-4 a.m.), we never dipped below 50 people. And sentiment was overwhelmingly positive, with many skipping work and sacrificing sleep – all watching and waiting together for the next code.
Objective: Drive engagement while promoting $20 Scratch-Offs.
Result: 13K+ comments and a rabid fanbase actively working together to try to solve upcoming codes before they were even dropped. And beyond promotion, as part of a larger effort, the campaign succeeded in helping drive an over $5 million (11%) increase in $20 Scratch-Off sales in February.
Objective: Grow the fanbase, particularly among younger lottery players (18+).
Result: On a platform where 60% of the users are 18-34, we drove a 20% increase in followers, gaining over 3K+ new followers in seven days.
Due to the high success of this campaign, the client has since pursued additional Waiting Games – including the latest office edition: Waiting for Five O’Clock.
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