Thursday, March 09, 2006

Who Is Really Doing Gillette's Mobile Marketing?

The Apprentice /Gillette mobile marketing story has another twist.
A PP reader emailed me a link to enter Gillette's Fusion Sweepstakes

The "5 Days In New York Sweepstakes" allows you to enter online AND you can also gain more entries from your cell phone.

If you enter your cell phone number, they will send up to 5 text messages through march 13, 2006 for special bonus entries.

I click on the site, register online and then give my cell phone number for more entries.

A minute later, I get a text from 65579 saying I am subscribed for Apprentice/Fusion alerts.

Here's the problem, 65579 short code is registered to ipsh! The text I received on the day of the show was 36617, Hip Cricket's.

To find out who owns a short code just Google it or go to OTAir

I don't get it. Was Hip Cricket in charge of the text message platform for the task day, and then ipsh! took over Gillette's mobile marketing campaign?

(I received a call from ipsh! confirming they are handling the mobile marketing campaign for Gillette Fusion)

Either one of these companies can clarify this if they want.

The sad thing about this mobile campaign is that is getting more attention from a primative blogger than from millions of TV viewers.


Anonymous said...

Seems ipsh! is a day late and a dollar short at this point. Must be someone's brother-in-law or blood relative involved in this drama--don't you think?!

Scott Shaffer said...

The story I got from ipsh! paints a different picture, and they are the ones that ultimately got the campaign.

We know three things.

HC provided the platform for the day of the task.

The chance to jumpstart a mobile marketing campaign was lost on the day of the show.

ipsh! is now handling the MM campaign for Gillette/Apprentice.

Anonymous said...

but no mention of the sweepstakes on the air. insane. so what if show was taped in October, they couldn't splice in a few seconds. or mention it in a commercial.

Anonymous said...

ipsh! may be handling the campaign now...but the Apprentice-based campaign appears DOA and/or dead-in-the-water by any measure. Still want to know the rest of the story...especially the "whys." Guess we'll have to see what Gillette does with Fusion mobile-marketingwise in the future and what ipsh! does.

Scott Shaffer said...

There's a reason ipsh! was bought out by Omnicom so early in the game.

There has to be a reason why Gillette switched horses during the race though.

I'll let ipsh! say why.

Anonymous said...

You beat me, PP...was just going to note ipsh! was acquired 10-1-05 by Omnicom...and also, PG revamped its list of approved agencies recently and at least one of them was an Omnicom sub FWIW.

Anonymous said...

Assuming it's correct that Omnicom is on the P&G list of approved agencies, then since Gillette was aquired by P&G, would seem there was no choice but to go to one on the approved list. Always better not to speculate and wait to get the facts; however, as evidenced the other day.

Anonymous said...

Something in this info isn't right - that short code you say is for Gillette Fusion, when you go to OTair for info on it, it is for a Discovery Channel program, "I shouldn't be alive" Check it out - it does not say it's for Gillette - where do you see that on the OTair site?
At OTair site, see this page:

Scroll down to code 65579, it says: 65579 - Discovery Channel "I Shouldn't Be Alive" - Contest - Free

Watch the Discovery Channel series, Fridays 9PM ET/PT, starting March 9, 2006, and participate in a trivia contest to win GPS systems, survival books and an adventure trip. Enter online or by texting ALIVE to 65579. More info:

Start Date: 03/09/2006 | End Date: 03/24/2006 | Posted: 03/07/2006

Click on the details, you get linked to this page:

When I scroll down that short code page, I don't see anything for Gillette

Anonymous said...


IS ALWAYS SURPRISING! said... is not 100% accurate. 65579 is a shared short code that ipsh! is using for mobile marketing programs on behalf of different companies. If you look at page 18 of the ipsh! presentation at,18,Try, you will see that you can get a 'demo' wallpaper that they send to show thier capabilities.

65579 has not yet been listed on but it will be soon. Currently have 163 listed although missing a few that lists. Otair lists only 55 in total.

I guess you have to always check multiple sources and do it a little validation yourself.

Anonymous said...

When you're a brand manager/decision maker at Gillette it's safer, if things go wrong, to say "well, Omnicom advised us on this." Imagine saying HipCricket to the boss...and then the boss says increduously, "HipCricket who??"

Anonymous said...

Scott, I find it interesting that there's been so little discussion about KEYWORDS here -- "CLOSER" and "BLADE5." While the episode definitely missed the boat in many areas (I personally think that the show is stooping to too much boardroom drama to keep ratings up, while losing the actual "educational" value that it used to have), they did at least touch on the search for meaningful keywords -- which will soon be the source of a violent turf battle in the mobile marketing war. said...

There are four most memorable Apprentice shows from all the seasons to date and they all had significant involvement by the featured company and the tie to The Apprentice was carried off-air, as well: Burger King sandwich, Staples desk apprentice, Pontiac Solstice, and Genworth Financial.

Clearly, the same strategy by P&G/Gillette was not pursued, and is a shame given the audience of the show, even if ratings have dropped some. This show came across almost as they had no better idea what to do than to focus it on text messaging. I feel for HC as I'm sure they wanted to do much more with it and had the experience to see that the mobile marketing efforts were handled appropriately and maximized.

On another note, the link to OTAir does need to be fixed, Scott, as it results in an error.

The short code list on OTAir is only a partial list of what we have. While we started the list months ago on Nov. 10th, our focus has been more on getting the rest of our site up, our mobile marketing service ready and the carriers on board with our short code. We will soon be posting the remainder of our database of short codes and enhancing access to the list in a number of ways. While we can never guarantee that the info will be 100% accurate, due to companies changing what they do with their short codes, we do quite a bit of scouring the internet looking for them. We verify most of them, especially the free ones. If you notice, we also date them, so the current use of 65579 for The Discovery Channel's "I Should Not Be Alive" IS indeed accurate...text it and see. Nonetheless, we appreciate receiving any corrections and updates as the directory is a service to the public, we don't mind if the short code info we uncover is propagated elsewhere, and you can see that we willingly list our competitors along with their codes.

Anonymous said...

perhaps ipsh is the next buy of Neomedia.
perhaps that is the reason for this confusion.
greetings from germany

Scott Shaffer said...

ipsh! was acquired by Omnicom last fall.

At the time of the acquisition, ipsh! had completed 400 campaigns. The acquisition will enable ipsh! to service the 1700 plus agencies within Omnicom looking for mobile advertising solutions.

To quote the release... "ipsh! is the leading North American mobile media and marketing services company, providing solutions for clients through it's offices in New York,Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco"

Shortly after, they introduced

Mobile Maven said...

Hip Cricket was acquired by NeoMedia for $4.5 million on 2/17/06 (Source: Rutberg & Co).
This is a tangible example of why mobile marketing is not at the level it could be. The reason can be summed up in one word - EDUCATION. Providers of mobile solutions need to change their approach when speaking with brands and agencies from selling to educating. Most of us are engrossed in mobile and the capabilities while agencies and brand managers are not. Educating may create a longer sales cycle and more work but in the end it will also create more successful campaigns thus elevating the industry and resulting in more revenue. While this is the long and idealistic approach it will prove to be beneficial moving forward.

Anonymous said...

"Who's HipCricket?"
People in the industry know:

" Founded in 2004 in Essex, Connecticut, HipCricket (, has already worked with four national radio groups, TV networks, a top TV reality show, and more than two dozen major marketers. Within the past year HipCricket has worked with, AEG, BBDO, Catapult Marketing, Clear Channel® Communications, Cox® Radio, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts®, Dunkin' Donuts®, Fox® Sports Radio, FritoLay®, Hershey's, Katz Radio Group, Maybelline®, Miller Brewing®, Nokia, Pernod Ricard®, Ryan Partnership, the Official NASCAR® Membership Club, Susquehanna Communications® Inc. and TIMEX®, among other clients whose names have not yet been announced.

HipCricket licenses software to radio stations and networks, enabling interaction directly with listeners and watchers via SMS, MMS, IVR and e-mail, creating new or additional revenue streams while also potentially increasing ratings. HipCricket also develops and executes interactive marketing programs for brand marketing companies and their agencies, enabling a brand to interact directly with individual consumers in real time, with significantly greater response rates at lower cost than other marketing vehicles. The company also offers full wireless and event marketing capabilities with emphasis on the key growth target of young adult consumers.

HipCricket also provides customers with a wide range of mobile media solutions including marketing and mobile strategy development, marketing plan integration, creative content development, program execution, tracking and analysis, and database development and maintenance. "

Anonymous said...

Check this link--it appears that the letter of intent has not been consumated.

Anonymous said...

Very good reading;
yes it is to be consumated within 90 days of signing the LOI. When signed, HipCricket would join Sponge Group, 12snap, Gavitec, and Mobot which have officially become a part of NeoMedia as their merger agreements have all been finalized.

Anonymous said...

Hip Cricket is about the stupidest name for a company. Could you imagine telliong someone you worked for Hip Cricket? It sounds like some kind of gay underground club.

Anonymous said...

to prior poster, if you don't "get" Hip Cricket as a name, you really won't "get" the name of the ad agency "Kowloon Wholesale Seafood Company " are very successful. But those who are in the advertising business know about both. said...

When marketing is integrated well within The Apprentice, it really pays off. A reward was just recently given for the Pontiac Solistice / Apprentice show/promo. Read more here:

Anonymous said...

any word on omnicom's investment/purchase price of ipsh?

Scott Shaffer said...

The acq was closed in early Oct. Their latest filing is dated ending Sept 30.

In their presentation they state they spent $78m on acq in the 4th qtr.
They include
The BEanstalk Group
The Marketing Partners
REsolution Media
The Works

Jefe said...

short simple answer to the ipsh/hip cricket disparity.
The "day of the task" campaign was handled as marketing for the show, managed by network and producers.
The gillette "5 days in New York" sweepstakes was handled by P&G and Yahoo.
Different companies, different goals, different teams. Everyone made the decision best suited to their needs.

Anonymous said...

Ipsh! isn't the only mobile marketing agency in the omnicom family... there's also TCS Mobile

Scott Shaffer said...

Thank you.

You have been added to the Mobile Marketing list