Lottery Slogan Dropped Over Profanity Concerns
New Hampshire’s state lottery officials decided to drop a lottery slogan because of complaints that it sounded too much like profanity.
The New Hampshire Lottery Commission dropped its “Luck Yeah!” lottery slogan.
You’re probably already chuckling because you already know what profane phrase the slogan sounds like. (If you don’t, replace the L in Luck with an F…do the math and it’ll make sense, though it may offend you.
It certainly offended one of the state’s councilors when it started appearing in ads last month. WMUR-TV reported the councilor claimed when he heard the phrase for the first time, he found the phrase “distasteful” and “too close to foul language.”
“The way that I heard it was not something I was keen on,” he said.
I respectfully suggest that was the whole point. The whole reason they chose such a phrase — which would never be used without the similarity to the F-bomb version — would be to turn heads.
Here’s an example of one of the spots. See for yourself:
The head of the state’s lottery responded, suggesting that the word luck in “an inherent part of their business.” No one in their right mind would suggest otherwise.
But the fact that luck is part of the picture in no way changes the fact that they were going for shock value because of the common profane phrase. They wanted attention. They got it.
That’s how advertising, all too often, seems to work these days.
It’s certainly not new. A few years ago, a former advertising copywriter complained in an editorial in the Denver Post about the use of the phrase “So flippin’ fun” in ads for an area attraction. Flippin’, in that context, was an obvious substitution of yet another occasion where the F-bomb would have been the more-likely reaction.
It’s one thing to “tone down” profanity, but when you’re talking about advertising on broadcast television, you have to assume there are children in the room, and while those adults who don’t find such a phrase all that offensive, they might change their mind if their children hear phrases like this and begin using them at will.
But one might suggest that if the product or service was so good, shock value wouldn’t be necessary.
As for the New Hampshire lottery, the potentially-offensive phrase is being replaced with “Win Time!”
It’s nowhere near as edgy, but does that mean it’s the end of the world?