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Back to the Start

The California Lottery believes in the power of a good education and passionate teachers. That’s why they wanted a campaign, not to sell lottery tickets, but to let people know of their $1 billion annual contribution to California public schools. While it’s a modest contribution per school district, it still makes a difference.


This led us to our school-year-long #ThankATeacher campaign, which consists of microcontent, influencer marketing, and an emotional documentary film series featuring three celebrity influencers who go back to thank a teacher who had a dramatic impact on their lives.


Launching the "Back to the Start" film series was pop band Haim, who returned to their high school to thank their inspiring history teacher, Jerry Freedman. This was followed by Guy Fieri, who went home to Ferndale, CA to thank his 8th grade teacher, Fran Fischer, for believing in him and helping him reach his full potential. In a grand finale, tennis superstar Venus Williams surprised her first grade teacher at Mark Twain Elementary, Judy Vellegas, in an emotional display of love and gratitude. Combined with an influencer marketing program, the three films invite viewers everywhere to take a moment and #ThankATeacher who made a difference in their lives.

Back to the Start feat. Venus Williams

Back to the Start feat. Venus Williams

Back to the Start feat. Venus Williams

Back to the Start feat. Guy Fieri

Back to the Start feat. HAIM

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