I'm not certain if the latest commerical for the Tennessee Lottery has infilitrated other areas of our state or not. Here in Music City, we seem to be hearing and seeing a lot of a new commerical that encourages buying and giving lottery tickets as a holiday gift. The commerical is a catchy little jingle that lists everyone you might come in contact with as secretly yearning for a lottery ticket this holiday season.
There's a big article in this morning's Tennessean about reaction to the marketing campaign
for the Tennessee lottery.
But there are detractors, particularly among some in the religious and conservative community who have been opposed to the lottery since the beginning.
They say gambling is a vice, and it's offensive to try to generate more lottery sales during a sacred season.
''It was tacky,'' said Bobbie Patray of Nashville, who has heard the radio ad. She is state chairwoman of the Eagle Forum, a conservative group that concentrates on family issues. ''Surely, there are less offensive ways to promote gambling than encouraging them as stocking stuffers,'' she said. ''People would much rather have the cash than a ticket that will probably be worthless.'
The Rev. Enoch Fuzz said, ''Jesus would not play, nor support, the lottery.
''It only adds insult to injury to think people would suggest a lottery ticket purchase as a gift associated with the birth of Jesus Christ,'' said Fuzz, pastor of Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church.
Yes, Rev. Fuzz does have a point about the whole lottery ticket being a gift to celebrate the birth of Christ, but there are a whole lot of other commericalized aspects to the whole holiday season out there, also. I don't know about you guys, but I'm bombarded with huge papers this time of year chock full of ads for all kinds of other stuff--CDs, DVDs, books, clothing, appliances, cars, etc.--that don't really seem like appropriate gifts to celebrate the birth of Christ. Of course, you don't hear Rev. Fuzz attacking the Lexus ads where everyone is concerned about the giant bows that go on top of the cars. (Whereas I'd wonder--how did you get the car in the living room?)
The article also goes on to say:
Piyush Kumar, an assistant professor of management at VU, said a gift of a lottery ticket was like a free trial offer to the receivers, benefiting the lottery.
''It's a little better than giving a Christmas card, but they're priced about the same,'' said Kumar, who said he was familiar with research on the economics of how and why people play the lottery.
''You may be giving a gift for a dollar, but in your own mind you could be giving away potentially $300, $500 or even $1 million,'' he said.
But there is a downside. The receiver may not play the lottery and may become hooked, he said.
But my favorite reactions are those of the "people on the street
Della Himes, 51, Nashville, nurse technician:
''It seems to be a good idea, but I don't know anybody who would want one as a Christmas gift. I guess it'd be OK as a stocking stuffer. I wouldn't mind getting one. But, God, I'd have to let them know upfront, 'If you get any money, I'd have to get half of it.' '' Eddie Cherry, 41, Nashville, convenience store assistant manager:
''I don't know if I'd want to give anyone a lottery ticket for Christmas. I'd hate to give someone a lot of money unless there was an understanding they'd share it.''
I love the reaction, "Well, if they win on a present I gave them, they have to give me some of the money." Kind of misses the whole point of gift giving, doesn't it? You're giving a gift to another person. You don't get to share in the winnings if they get any. I mean, it's not like you pick out a great sweater for someone and give it to them with the stipulation that you get to wear it a couple of days as week.....
posted by Michael Hickerson at 12/20/2004 08:42:00 AM