The Illinois Lottery has received a fair amount of attention in recent years, from its connections to disgraced former governor Rod Blagojevich to the state's controversial plan to sell the lottery to private investors. Now, for the holiday season the Illinois Lottery has launched a new ad campaign using the Christian hymn "Joy to the World" to flog its scratch-off games, a move that has led at least one Christian to complain to the Chicago Sun Times:
In Monday’s paper, columnist Lewis Lazare notes that Energy BBDO has created a series of holiday television commercials using the song “Joy to the World” to sell—of all things—lottery tickets! The new lyrics and retro music may be captivating and clever, but are the people at BBDO familiar with the original words to this Christmas hymn? Or do they care?
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come!”
Or is Linus the only one who still understands what Christmas is all about?
Dan McGuire, Bensenville
It's a paradigmatic case of cultural appropriation, with one community's traditions used to promote ostensibly contradictory values. And as MultiCultClassics observes, the campaign doesn't stop there--"It’s gone from blasphemy to Black clichés."