Gearon Wins FreeScholarships

Upcoming Multimedia Branding Message Will Be a ‘No-Brainer’
BOSTON–Leveraging its success in the dot-com marketplace, Gearon Hoffman has been named agency of record for, a subsidiary of MathSoft, a maker of scientific and engineering software.
The Boston agency was selected for the account following a review of undisclosed shops. The budget will be in the $5-7 million range, according to Bob Hoffman, president of Gearon Hoffman.
The shop is charged with crafting online and offline campaigns. Gearon will oversee traditional media placements. Hook Media, Boston, is charged with online buying chores.
Radio executions take the form of a young-adult soap opera (ˆ la Beverly Hills 90210) and will be tagged “It’s a no-brainer.” Ads are designed to appeal to students, parents and recent graduates who wish to find quick, easy ways to help pay tuition bills, Hoffman said.
Efforts this month begin breaking in test markets, including Boston, Austin, Texas, and San Diego. The effort will roll out nationwide later this year.
Radio is the principal medium because of its ability to allow advertisers to “really hone in on the audience you want to target,” said Kathy Kessel, vice president of marketing at
Based in Cambridge, Mass., launched in February and offers scholarships ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 through various online drawings, contests and activities. The funds are paid directly to accredited institutions, from pre-schools to universities.
“We showed [FreeScholarships] a lot of the work we’ve been doing in the Internet space,” Hoffman said. Notably, the agency presented past efforts for business-to-business site and WebCT, an e-commerce community that caters to college-age students and university instructors.
With continuing market volatility and the failure of some dot-coms, the Internet arena remains a risky venue for agencies. Hoffman believes, however, that is “a sustainable model.”
Kathy Carino, senior vice president at Gearon Hoffman, will lead the agency team servicing