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Blog Home Business Enterprise New York Lottery Shows the World What It Means to Win Big with the Help of Shutterstock’s AI Image Generator
New York Lottery's AI Art Social Media Campaign

New York Lottery Shows the World What It Means to Win Big with the Help of Shutterstock’s AI Image Generator

Shutterstock brings fantasies to life through AI-generated art, showing the exhilarating moments after winners hit the jackpot in a new social campaign by New York Lottery and McCann called #PictureAWin.

Since its inception in 1967, the New York (NY) Lottery has symbolized a pathway to financial freedom and boundless opportunity. With exciting lotteries like Powerball and Numbers, players get to enjoy all the fun of traditional games, but the rewards are simply beyond imagination—lucky winners have turned a single dollar into millions in the blink of an eye.

Although the odds of winning the grand prize stand at 1 in 175,223,510, that hasn’t deterred millions of hopeful New Yorkers from taking a gamble. The thrill of good luck inspires some, while others manifest the big win, envisioning themselves walking through the doors of their local Prize Claim Center to receive their life-changing reward.

And the dreams don’t end there! 

The prospect of winning the lottery sparks the imagination of every player, making it difficult to settle on just one grand vision for their newfound future. That’s why the NY Lottery decided to use artificial intelligence (AI) to make it even easier for players to picture what they’d do in the victorious moments after they hit the jackpot. 

Utilizing Shutterstock’s first-of-its-kind AI Image Generator, the NY Lottery and its advertising agency McCann New York pioneered a social campaign that invited online followers to dream big and turn their fantasies into fantastic artworks!

Nerice Gerena, McCann’s Client Partner at Shutterstock, tells us more about how the NY Lottery created this imaginative and unique campaign entirely from AI. 

Shutterstock’s Ethical AI Art Generation

With their AI Dream Visualization Campaign “Picture a Win,” the New York Lottery adds its name to the ever-growing list of brands embracing AI to bring forth fresh and innovative marketing ideas.

Guidance from McCann’s team and the introduction to Shutterstock’s AI Image Generator made this first foray into the AI-generated art space possible.

“I have been working with McCann for almost six years and have a good understanding of their client’s needs,” said Gerena. 

“Our AI tool was hot off the press, so we connected with the NY Lottery account team at the agency and got creative juices flowing. Bringing in our AI expert Mike Francello to share more details around our capabilities was instrumental to determining the campaign’s creative direction.” 

Shutterstock’s generative AI models are trained on millions of images within the Shutterstock library, with access to over 650M high-quality images, videos, music, and more.

Through this process, Shutterstock contributors are compensated for their work in training AI models, and users can create unique, ethically sound AI images at the speed of their imaginations.

Even though it was using a new creative medium, NY Lottery trusted the McCann team to skillfully integrate AI without fear of backlash from the technology’s more controversial aspects.

Many AI tools facilitate rapid image creation but are trained on images scraped from the internet. This raises concerns about attribution, copyrighting, and fair compensation for creators.

As the first in the market to protect customers legally and compensate artists for training AI models, Shutterstock provides a safe and ethical way for NY Lottery to use an exciting new technology. 

“Everyone in the creative world is talking about AI, but there’s also a negative connotation around AI pirating people’s art, replacing human creators, and using it to benefit a brand without compensating the appropriate parties. This is not a risk trusted agencies are willing to take from both an ethical or liability standpoint,” said Gerena.

“Our AI tool is different,” she continued. “It pulls images from our library and only from artists who have opted in for their content to be included.”

“McCann was delighted to be able to use our innovative technology and execute this campaign responsibly.”

Nerice Gerena

From Comments to Canvas: AI Art Inspired by Social Media

New York Lottery wanted players to believe that anything is possible, so using AI to generate the artistic vision behind the campaign seemed like the perfect fit.

“One of the main goals of this particular campaign was to create buzz through social media engagement,” explained Gerena. 

On Instagram, they challenged current and potential lottery players to describe their wildest dreams of what they’d do after winning the lottery. Their followers did not disappoint.

Gerena shared, “This project was a dreamy, whimsical way to incorporate AI and involve their social media followers. They encouraged people to think of the most outlandish thing they would do if they won the lottery. They then took those comments from their social feed and used them as prompts in Shutterstock’s AI Image Generator.” 

Some followers shared outrageous and hilarious ideas, like: “I’d open a specialty pb&j restaurant. All peanut butter and jelly and jams all the time, baby!”

Gerena recalls, “One follower said they’d buy a giant mansion and fill it with dachshunds. So, NY Lottery took that prompt and put it into our generator to bring it to life.”

Other dreams were more sentimental. One commenter shared that they’d just want “a large, cool garden and enough space for my dog to run and burn off all their energy.”

The scenery and style of the images bred directly from the comments crossed artistic techniques, from surrealism to abstract, whatever best fit the prompt at play.

Text-to-image AI models can generate original images based on basic written instructions.

Unlike traditional photography methods that involve casting models and scouting locations for the perfect shot, the AI generator constructs entirely new art from models that were trained on the work of Shutterstock’s contributors.

While the images that get generated are novel, they are—in many ways—raw. But, that very rawness is what this campaign used to its advantage. 

“With an AI Image Generator, production happens in real-time. Because of this, we worked with McCann to steer some of the prompts and help them get the best image results,” says Gerena.

“If we typed ‘penguins on a beach sipping a margarita,’ you’d get the most interesting thing our product can create, and a lot of it right now might look funky or bizarre. As users continue to engage with our platform, the tool gets smarter due to machine learning.

“But, for now, this was a creative way to embrace the quirkiness of these images and use them exactly as they were.” 

By using this approach, NY Lottery remained faithful to their followers’ dreams. They allowed the prompt to set the focus, concentrating less on perfection and more on creating realistic portrayals of what it might be like to win the lottery.

What It Looks Like to Win Big

Blending imagination and artificial intelligence, the campaign made waves with its unique concept and vivid imagery.

“The results were great,” shared Gerena. “I think the social media engagement is exactly what they wanted it to be. But, even more importantly, McCann and NY Lottery showed that they are being innovative and agile, but doing it ethically and advocating for artists who may want to enter the AI space.” 

NY Lottery and McCann displayed a brilliant understanding of cutting-edge technology, embracing the notion that AI-generated art goes far beyond simple manipulations of images found on the internet.

Instead, they created a space for the birth of fresh and uncharted art forms, opening doors to exciting possibilities and inspiring the Shutterstock team. 

“The most thrilling aspect for us was realizing this tool has helped dispel the preconceived notion that we are only stock. The hope is that our AI tool will put a spotlight on many of our additional creative solutions.

“Customers can access music, editorial content, TurboSquid (the largest 3D stock marketplace in existence), and Shutterstock Studios, our production arm, to create beautiful content globally,” said Gerena. 

“Our ecosystem is much more substantial than most people realize. In the long term, we hope this tool gains stickiness among creatives and becomes an integral part of their creative workflow. Ultimately other agencies will take note of the potential and follow suit.”

License this cover image element via Shutterstock.AI.

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