News and Events


Preaching to the choir: links & more


At the joint EL/WLA Marketing Seminar in London NLS had a 15-minute slot to present to the audience. At NLS we believe we should all “Expect Better” and we decided to present something of interest to the audience. The theme of the conference was Big Jackpots, Big Data and Big Communities, also known as the “3 Bs”. Our talk started with a focus on the importance of modern technology and how it is the foundation of having success with any of the “3 Bs”.

This year is the iPhone's 10-year anniversary. When the iPhone was launched it was a revolution. Now the iPhone, and smartphones in a broader context, are simply part of our lives and they are practically magic. The way Apple has managed to stay relevant is by employing modern technology at the outset and then constantly evolving it. Apple has released over 10 major iOS releases and 15 different handsets during this time and added functionality that we take for granted today, such as copy/paste, the app store, a front facing camera and much, much more.iPhone portfolio

It is not unusual for lotteries to do long-term contracts and the iPhone example offers an interesting parallel to 10-year lottery contracts. If you are going to succeed with something both now and in 10 years from now, in a world that moves as fast as ours, you need to use modern technology and constantly evolve it.

When we developed our presentation we decided that while it was important to talk about modern technology we were really preaching to the choir. In the collective centuries of experience our NLS Vikings have, none of us has ever met a lottery employee who wants to be limited by technology or deal with old and outdated systems. Instead of focusing on the many merits of the NLS solution, we decided to focus on something more immediately relevant and useful to the audience. At NLS we believe in “standing upon the shoulders of giants”. For us that means learning from the success others have had and building upon the technology advancements that have already been made. Why develop a new map application in house when you can use Google Maps? We focused the bulk of our talk on something more immediately useful to the audience: the best examples we've seen of community building or social success. In the end, our research led us to more great examples of social and community success than we could fit into the presentation. Below is a list, in no particular order, of what we presented – and a few bonus examples that never made it into our presentation.


Hagkaup: “Play For Good”          

Hagkaup is Iceland's high end grocery and department store and before Christmas they decided to let their customers contribute to a good cause. A piano was put in front of the store in Iceland's two biggest (possibly only) shopping malls. For each person who played the piano, Hagkaup donated 5000 kr. (around 40 euros) to a charity that supports underprivileged families. In addition to supporting a good cause, the playing enriched the holiday shopping experience for thousands of Christmas shoppers and created considerable social media buzz. By allowing their customers to be part of the giving experience, instead of simply giving the money to charity directly, Hagkaup made the most of its charitable donation. Here is a link to some of the videos from the event.



In the airline industry WestJet is something of a prodigy in social media success. Their Christmas event has for years been the standard that other annual events are judged by. Seeing is believing. Head over to WestJet´s YouTube page , scroll down to the WestJet Christmas Miracle Videos section and pay special attention to their Real Time Giving and 12.000 Mini-Miracles videos. It's easy to see parallels with what can be done by lotteries. For additional information on the success of the 12.000 Mini-Miracles, check out the Shorty Awards page for 12.000Mini-Miracles.


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

Another airline deserves a special mention here. KLM's Bonding Christmas Buffet – is a great, well-executed idea that fits well with the social and coming-together mission of many lotteries. KLM is not a one trick pony and their “lost and found service” video has received over 22 million views since it was released in 2014. The video which features a hardworking beagle can be found here.


Ok, this is the last airline to make the list we promise. Delta had a neat idea and equipped a checked-in bag with 6 cameras to capture the bag's journey “behind the rubber flaps”. The video can be watched here. While interesting, it makes the list for one particular reason: How cool would it be to equip a “you've won!” notification box, shipped via mail, with a camera that captures the winner's reaction in their own home when she realizes she's won the lottery? Food for thought.

Dumb Ways To Die

What a title and what a brilliant idea. Tired of ineffective safety videos that are simply ignored, Metro Trains Melbourne created this gem of a video. They also created a number of follow up videos and apps that have had over 200 million downloads. The “Dumb Ways to Die” song reached the iTunes top 10 singles chart in the first week after the video's release. There is also a website: where you can buy merchandise and learn more. It is easy to envision a similar video on responsible gaming getting widespread attention and really bringing home the message of playing within your means.


Geico, an American insurance company, is perhaps the king of off-the-wall advertising. They made the list for one simple reason: they created clever “un-skippable” pre-roll advertisements for YouTube. The advertisement delivers the message in less than 5 seconds (the point at which the viewer can skip the ad) and provides enough intrigue to keep the viewer interested. See the Hungry Dog ad here.

Burger King

On the subject of pre-roll ads, Burger King ran a very successful anti-preroll advertising campaign. It's a brilliant concept built around individual pre-roll ads based on what the viewer is about to watch (such as “screaming goat videos”) and features two guys complaining about pre-roll adds. It is summed up nicely in this video.

David Blane

If you made it this far down the page, congratulations! You get to see some magic. David Blane is an American magician, illusionist and endurance artist. He burst onto the magic scene with this revolutionary “Street Magic” series. Penn Jillette called Blaine's first television special, Street Magic, "the biggest breakthrough (in television magic) done in our lifetime". What David Blane did that was so revolutionary was to focus the camera on the audience and their reaction to his magic while he performed live in front of them. Many successful social media campaigns have taken a page from David Blane's book and focused their stories on not what the “thing is” but rather how people react to it. The WestJet Real Time Giving video is a good example of this. David Blane's YouTube page has two examples from the Street Magic series and they can be seen here and here.