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Business Buzz

The Daily Record's business blog

Watch: GKV, REJ make Maryland Lottery ad for Ravens scratch-off

A man sitting on a park bench at Federal Hill scratches a lottery ticket. Birds flock from over his shoulder and his ticket begins to glow with energy as as the flying creatures spiral toward him, as purple lightning bolts electrify the scene.

That’s what happens in a new “Heed the Caw” 30-second ad for the Maryland Lottery made by Baltimore marketing firm GKV and their production partner REJ & Associates to promote the $10 Ravens scratch-off ticket. The ad debuted last week and can be seen in the Baltimore and Salisbury television markets, at movie theaters in the Baltimore area, and on the Maryland Lottery website, as well as in this blog post below.

The companies teamed up with Moving Picture Co. of London to shoot the ad on location in Baltimore, and for computer animation and post-production. Q Department of New York City provided a musical score.

“The Ravens scratch-off is a tentpole release for the Maryland Lottery each fall, and it is vital that we keep creative fresh and entertaining,” said Chris Stark, co-creative director at GKV, in a news release announcing the debut of the ad. “MPC was a fantastic creative partner for the project. Their special effects work combined with their team approach and attention to detail on the live action shoot brought the story to life and helped to make the Maryland Lottery’s product the true hero of the commercial.”

Some interesting tidbits about this ad, as told to The Daily Record:

• The lead actor was selected after casting calls in New York and Los Angeles. Local actors can be seen in the background blur at the park.

• While there are plenty of computer-generated ravens flocking to the scratch-off player in this spot, there is also one specially-trained raven that was generated by other ravens (meaning, it’s a real raven), visible during the last scene on the bench.

• Not to be outdone by the real raven, real lightning also made a quick appearance nearby during the shoot, forcing a delay in production. That helped put everyone “in character” for the next day’s shoot, said Stacey Wynia, senior vice president and director of public relations and social media. All the purple lightning in the ad is computer-generated.

GKV, creative agency of record for the Maryland Lottery since 2008, was awarded a three-year contract in spring 2019 after a competitive review process. GKV partnered with REJ & Associates to win the contract. The Ravens scratch-off campaign marks the first major work by the agency for its long-standing client in the new contract period.

This Business Buzz blog post is part of an occasional series about films and videos made by Maryland companies. If your company recently finished a production, please send information to

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