Tear-jerker Christmas lottery ad goes viral

The Local Spain
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Tear-jerker Christmas lottery ad goes viral
The two-and-a-half minute commercial for Spain's 'Fat One' lottery shows how people's lives are transformed when their lottery numbers come in. Screen grab: Selae/YouTube

Christmas may still be six weeks off but Spain is already gearing up for its massive El Gordo ('Fat One') lottery with a cinematic advertisement that is a serious change of tack from last year's hugely unpopular effort. It hasn't been free of controversy though.


Spain's El Gordo national lottery is an institution in Spain, with over 30 million trying their luck in the massive prize draw. With total prizes hitting a staggering €2.2 billion ($2.7 million), the draw is also alleged to be the world's biggest. 

To ensure tickets go flying out the door, hugely expensive TV commercials — this year's cost €840,000 ($1,047,000) according to El País newspaper — are beamed into Spanish households.

The 2013 version of the commercial, was, however, a flop. An ode to all things Christmas, it featured five top Spanish singers in an advertisement that many described as cloying. Parodies ensued, with the most popular being a version that transformed the official commercial into a Nightmare on Elm Street-style affair.

This year, the government's national lottery agency has opted for a more narrative affair, with the two-and-a-half minute commercial showing how people's lives are transformed when their lottery numbers come in.

Shot in Madrid, the advertisement features the song glacier by James Vincent McMorrow.

While the response to the short has been better than received by last year's effort, there has been a whiff of controversy as well. 

Jon D. Domínguez, the man who shot an earlier 'demo' version of the advertisement which saw the Leo Burnet creative agency win the contract, has complained he wasn't chosen to make the final version.

He says that while the final product is nearly identical to the version shot earlier, he wasn't invited back.

Admitting he might have been in the wrong, he nonetheless denounced the system of favours and poor working conditions of his industry.

"I'll never work for free again," he told Spain's El Confidencial newspaper.



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