Advertising the lottery

The National Lottery in the UK advertise a lot.

Today they're advertising a quadruple rollover.

It seems pretty obvious, but when they advertise the lottery they pitch you the result – the mansion, the "I'm on a boat" lifestyle.

What they don't advertise – the news agent you go to. The little piece of paper and the tiny chained up plastic pen you use to circle a bunch of numbers. They don't even advertise the price to pay for a ticket. They don't advertise the different ways you can play, or offer suggestions on how to pick your numbers. They also don't advertise the result of not winning.

Why don't they advertise all those things? They're dull. They're pretty common knowledge. They dilute the message. Those things don't make you successful or happy. Winning does.

It's so simple. And it works.

But it's not just the lottery that can be advertised like this. I'd wager that most startups don't advertise or pitch themselves with the clarity of the lottery's message.

People don't buy your product for the features. They might not care too much about the price. They almost certainly don't care too much about the process of getting set up.

They don't care about anything as much as the result – what's the reason for them to use your product? How do they win if they use you? Advertise that.

P.S. Yes I bought a ticket.

P.P.S. I did not win. This time.

James Gill

CEO and co-founder of GoSquared.

London, UK