ONCE Lottery inspires Christmas sales with Grandma

Organización Nacional de Ciegos de España, (Spanish National Association for the Blind) enhanced Spanish television programming in the lead up to Christmas 2003, with “Abuela”, a 90 second television advertisement featuring a prize-winning grandmother.

Grandmother in Once TV ad

The ‘Abuela’ spot opens with a woman looking through a shop window to see the winning numbers displayed. Tinsel and red Christmas balls dangle in the foreground. Subtly the woman’s face changes from hope to contained euphoria as she discovers that the numbers match those on her ticket. The woman starts off in one direction but changes her mind, setting off on a train journey. It’s bath time when the woman calls at her daughter’s home. While no one is looking she exchanges her winning ticket with the one kept in the kitchen cupboard, before heading to the bathroom to help with pyjamas. The voiceover: “Once. Feliz Navidad”.


The Once “Abuela” spot was developed at Bassat, Ogilvy & Mather, Madrid, by creative directors Pedro Úrbez (copywriter), José María Lapeña, Ramon Ruiz De La Prada, with agency producer Ramón Corominas.

Filming was directed by Ramsés Albiñana via Albiñana Films, Madrid, with producer Eva Rodriguez.

Editing was done at Telsón, Madrid. The emotionally charged string arrangement was provided by Sintonia, Madrid.


Once ‘Abuela’ won a gold award at Eurobest 2004 for entertainment and leisure, and a Persephone Award at the Womens Image Network awards.

About ONCE

ONCE was established in December 1938 to work on behalf of blind people throughout Spain. The “cupón” or lottery was given special dispensation by the Spanish government as a means of fundraising for ONCE’s creation of schools, work centres, access to social security and medical care.