(Paris Hilton’s failed SMS campaign)
Don’t ask how I stumbled across this sms campaign failure, I just did ok! On to more important things, like why this advertisement for Paris Hilton’s SMS campaign is such a failure.
First off, all of the information required by the carriers such as price, terms, conditions, etc. aren’t present anywhere within the advertisement.This is extremely concerning as this SMS campaign is a “Premium Rate” campaign, which means if you subscribe you will see a nice charge on your next mobile phone bill. (if you’re a fan of Paris though, don’t let me stop you) The carriers are much more strict regarding the rules for “premium rate” SMS campaigns when compared to “standard rate” SMS campaigns, so this would be their first fail with this advertisement.
The second fail I see is that they spell out their SMS shortcode 72747, which conveniently spells “PARIS”. This is extremely confusing as it’s hard for consumers to understand what is the phone number and what is the mobile keyword, as both of them are letters. On my first pass, here’s how myself and a majority of consumers would read it, “Text BEAUTY to PARIS”, which is extremely confusing. To make matters worse, they put “PARIS” above the actual SMS shortcode, making it extremely hard for the consumer to understand.
If I designed the advertisement myself, I wouldn’t spell out the SMS shortcode, it just causes too much confusion. See below for the change I made, doesn’t that look much easier to understand from a consumers perspective? The shitty thing about this SMS campaign is that the cost to lease a custom short-code (one that spells something or is unique) costs $1,000/month, compared to only $500/month for a generic keyword. We made this mistake three years ago when we purchased the short-code 68398, which spells out “NTEXT” which is short for “NetworkText”, the original website before we renamed it to Tatango. When we realized that spelling out the short-code was confusing for consumers, it was too late to change the short-code. One of the many mistakes we made in the beginning.