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Pennsylvania Lottery Gus Groundhog
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Pennsylvania’s “second mostfamous groundhog” is back on television, computer and smartphonescreens after anearly four year hiatus.
He’s also changed his look.
The Pa. Lottery’s scratch-off ticket mascot Gus used to be an animatronic puppet, explained PennLive, and “first appeared in early 2004 to promote a St. Patrick’s Day-themed instant game. He went on to appear in more than 50 TV commercials and numerous print ads before he was retired during former Gov. Tom Corbett’s administration.”
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Now, Gus enjoys computer-generated sleekness, WGAL added.
He’s also now wearing clothes –though he continues a long American tradition of cartoon animals wearing shirts butnot wearing pants. Or, in Yogi Bear’s case, a hat,collar and a tie –but no shirt or pants.
At any rate, the Gus the Groundhog’s retirement didn’t last terribly long.
In November, lottery officials announced Gus was coming back. “We have continued to hear from players who told us how much they missed Gus and wanted him to return,” said lottery official Drew Svitko. “Simply stated, Gus is a Pennsylvania Lottery institution.”
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A Pa. Lottery institution is right, too. Gus’ replacement, a red-haired womannamed Penny, received wide derision from Pennsylvanians. In fact, replacing Gus withPenny was so controversial,PennLive conducteda survey in 2013 about the change.
“Eighty-two percent of respondents favored Gus making a comeback” over Penny,PennLive reported. “Of those who favored Gus’ return, 15 percent indicated they found the Penny ads ‘make me want to drink myself to death with Geritol.'”
'Gus the Groundhog' is yesterday's news.
At a hearing today on the state Departrment of Revenue budget, Pennsylvania Lottery Executive Director Todd Rucci said that the lottery has pulled the plug on its ubiquitous ads featuring the fictitious Gus, 'the second-most famous groundhog in Pennsylvania.'
Gus's run as a television star ended this month, Rucci said, though for the time being he still has a presence on the lottery's website.
'We're shifting our marketing in a new direction,' Rucci said, 'of making people more aware of the great things that the lottery does. We are shifting our instant (lottery) product away from Gus into a new campaign which you'll see hopefully here in early March.'
Gus was created in 2004 to help introduce new instant ticket games.
Gus Lottery Tickets
In a state with a peculiar thing for groundhogs, the campaign was enough of a hit that past lottery directors had to expressly reject requests to convert the TV character into a plush toy.
Instant tickets have been the lottery's primary sales growth driver in that time.
Gus Lottery Commercial
But Rucci and the Corbett administration take the view that Gus has reached those he can reach by this time, and they would like to use their marketing dollars to try to tap new market segments. T slot aluminum plate.