The New York Lottery Created a Fake Heavy Metal Band and Released an EP on Spotify

McCann and JSM Music crank it up to 11

To introduce Black Titanium, a scratch-off game with a $10 million top prize, the New York Lottery and McCann pumped up the volume with a heavy-metal inspired campaign that really rocks! (In a play-sensibly, branded sort of way, naturally.)

Content stems from the premise that "Black Titanium" could be a name for all sorts of products, ranging from high-tech equipment to cologne. It could also be the name of a metal band so intense, their instruments are literally made of heavy metal. That joke plays out in the amusing 30-second spot below…

…but, surprise, Black Titanium really exists! Sort of. JSM Music wrote and performed head-banging lottery-themed songs under that name for the campaign, which you can sample in this Spotify EP:

"The idea came out of a truth we first noticed in the briefing," McCann creative director Emily Salas tells Muse. "When the New York Lottery asked us to create work for a game called Black Titanium, a lot of conversation in the room was around the fact that Black Titanium sounds like it could be the name of dozens of other things. Instead of trying to overcome that, we leaned into it."

Which track will be the breakout hit? We dig the frantic fretwork of "Hot Cash," in which we learn a bit about the new game: 

"It ain't a 7, an 8 or a 9
It ain't a hundred or a thousand this time
We took a million, then a million again
Then 8 more million to make it all 10!"

Some might prefer the ballsy beat of "Don't Play With Fire," a message song that includes the lottery's toll-free help line number and responsible-play web address in its chorus: 

"It shouldn't be about the cash money
Reach out for help if you're in need
Oh, set a limit and pace yourself
Oh, don't be afraid to ask for a little help!"

How, exactly, is scratching lottery tickets not about the "cash money"? Ah, well, Dio and Slayer didn't always make sense, either.

"Since these songs are intended to be ads that entertain, we knew we needed killer guitar solos, tongue-in-cheek lyrics and mutant vocals," notes McCann integrated music producer Dan Gross. 

By the way, that's Terry Ilous singing lead. He co-founded the absolutely real '90s band XYZ, and later fronted another actual hit-making group, Great White.

"That guy was unreal," recalls JSM CEO Joel Simon. "The lyrics came to us as we were initially briefed on the project. Tracks like this are a blast to create, so we didn't leave the studios or waste any time until we had it locked."

It's fun stuff, and a far cry from McCann's past Broadway stylings for the client, which include a perky take on "Food Glorious Food" and an original "Odds of Love" mini-musical with composer Joe Iconis.

But … why go all-in musically for this client anyway?

"Music connects on a deeper, personal and even cultural level, which in turn helps the New York Lottery positively affect many things, including very direct consumer behavior such as greater brand recall and affinity,"  says McCann svp and integrated music producer Eric David Johnson.

Johnson, aka DJ Bunny ears, spins more of his musical marketing notions here. 

Now, crank it up:

"Hot Cash, 10 million whole
Winning combination gets you that kind of dough
Hot Cash, all yours to own
Aching for the taking you can bring it all home!"


Agency: McCann

Eric Silver, North American Chief Creative Officer
Sean Bryan & Tom Murphy, McCann New York Chief Creative Officers
Mat Bisher, EVP Executive Creative Director
Jason Ashlock, VP Group Creative Director
Dominick Baccollo, VP Group Creative Director
Emily Salas, Creative Director
Tyler Gonerka, Creative Director
Hailey Lawrence, Junior Art Director
Jack McNamara, Junior Copywriter

Nathy Aviram, Chief Production Officer
Chance Bassett, VP Executive Producer
Eric David Johnson aka DJ Bunny Ears, SVP Executive Integrated Music Producer
Dan Gross, Music Producer
Jamie Jou, Music Business Manager
Natalie Hernandez, Business Manager

Scot Beck, EVP Executive Account Director
Caroline Fuller, VP Account Director
Molly Vossler, Account Supervisor
Ellery Gitkin, Account Executive
Carolyn Martin, Account Executive
Jessica Foster, Assistant Account Executive

Laura Frank, VP Strategy Director
Michael Goldstein, VP Communications Planning Director

Project Management
Michael Gonzalez, Project Manager

Production Company: Arts & Sciences
Director: Matt Aselton
Executive Producer: John Benson
Producer: Zoe Odlum
Production Supervisor: Tracy Zukowski
Director of Photography: Darren Lew
Production Designer: Mark Newell

Edit Company: MackCut
Editor: Gavin Cutler
Executive Producer: Gina Pagano
Assistant Editor: Alyce Muhammad

Music for TV Spot:
Music Company: Future Perfect

Audio Post
Audio Post Company: MackCut
Mix by: Sam Shaffer

VFX Company: Framestore
Executive Producer: Sarah Hiddlestone

Colorist: Tim Masick @ Co3 NY

JSM Music
CEO/CCO: Joel Simon
Exec. Producer: Jeff Fiorello
Producers: Andrew Manning/Norm Felke   

Joel Simon
Becca Riter
Seamus Kilmartin
Nathanial Morgan            
Jason Krebs

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