Crowdfunding has become an incredibly popular way to finance projects, especially in the artistic community. As the idea has developed, funding-seekers have found new and creative ways to get people excited about their project, and video is now one of the main ways to do that
Many people credit the beginning of Kickstarter back in 2009 as the start of crowdfunding, but it can actually be traced a little further back. In 2001, a website based in the US called ArtistShare was the first to really engage and target this kind of funding, aimed at the music community. After that, multiple sites sprung up: Kiva, IndiGoGo, Kickstarter, GoFundMe… well, you get the idea!
10 Fun and Effective Crowdfunding Videos
A campaign that manages to overdeliver on its target can surely be called a success, and Hopstuff Brewery managed to shoot way past their target, by 61%! As this wasn’t their first campaign, Hopstuff were able to make use of video to show their backers what they’d achieved since the last time they’d crowdfunded, and clearly, they made a persuasive argument! Their ‘to camera’ style is personable and engaging.
Tip Takeaway: If you have big, fun work team who are more like family, don’t be afraid to use them in your campaign and show off that dynamic.
If you haven’t played this game, you’re missing out. Exploding kittens is an unusual and, on the face of it, complicated card game. Using video to demonstrate the fun side of this game and the goals (don’t blow up, basically) was a neat way to build excitement for this. The creators mostly made use of an explainer style video with some fun graphics to accompany the words and it helped to make them one of the most funded/backed projects on Kickstarter of all time.
Tip Takeaway: If the concept is physical or you don’t have it yet, using an explainer template can be a neat way to demonstrate what you aim to do.
3. Star Citizen
Hold onto your hats because Star Citizen managed to raise over $2 million from an initial ask of $500k and has since gone on to make over $46 million. How? Well, the concept was crowdfunding for a video game and they did this by creating a video that resembled a movie trailer, really bringing the idea to life. To top that, they threw a ‘to-camera’ interview with the creator in as if he was part of the game – nice.
Tip Takeaway: Mixing your media can work really nicely, just do it well.
4. Oculus Rift
Most of us have heard of Oculus Rift, particularly since Facebook bought it in 2014 for $2 billion, but did you know it started as a Kickstarter campaign? The creator, Palmer Luckey made his crowdfunding video based around passion for gaming, something a lot of people feel the same way about. Tapping in to an existing audience who want the same things as you is a great way to start your project.
Tip Takeaway: Find an existing audience who are as passionate about your item’s genre as you are.
You might think creating a crowdfunding video for a film is easy – just show a trailer, right? Well you should aim to be a little more creative. Super Troopers 2 started their video out like a trailer, but flipped into talking about the Crowdfunder to make the film, while still in character. It’s fun, and informative. If you click the link, be aware that there’s some strong language in the trailer.
Tip Takeaway: Play to your audience – if your project is a funny film with adult themes and language, then keep the fundraising video along the same lines.
If your product has a… unique aspect, then make the most of it! Who Gives a Crap is toilet paper that is better for the environment, and body, than its counterparts. Crowdfunding for a toilet paper could be a tricky one, but the creators nail their promotional funding video by staging it as (an obviously ironic) dry, demonstration video. They also dedicate a good portion of time to their feel good message of supporting charities and causes. Complete with the pun-tastic name, it managed to smash its target and raise a whopping £50k.
Tip Takeaway: If your product is less than exciting, thinking creatively can completely turn it around.
7. Pebble Time
Pebble originally crowdfunded to make the world’s first smart watch. It worked well and so they came back with their follow up, Pebble Time. The video makes use of a simple demonstration method with a smooth ‘to camera’ and voiceover explainer. We want smart watches to be simple, clear, functional and attractive, and the video echoes this in its style.
Tip Takeaway: Your video should reflect your campaign outcome where possible. If your product is fun and bright, don’t make your video too corporate looking, and vice versa!
Love him or hate him, Zach Braff managed a successful Kickstarter campaign to see his movie, ‘Wish I Was Here’ realised. Does he have huge star presence to utilise? Yes. Does he have cool, Hollywood friends he can ask to appear in the crowdfunding video? Also yes. What really makes the video work though is the honesty and humour. Zach talks about how he could have the film financed, but it wouldn’t be on his terms, and that kind of honesty can really hit home with your funders.
Tip Takeaway: Call on your super-famous friends. Just kidding. Don’t be afraid to be honest with your potential backers – being genuine can go a long way to getting you fans.
Pulp are a wine subscription service, which is nothing particularly new. What made their fundraiser video stand out is its fun, fast-paced imagery and awesome use of sound effects. Though the presentation is a little stilted, the informality actually works and matches their message that your average wine drinker finds it hard and complicated to choose a wine, and Pulp want to make that easier and more accessible.
Tip Takeaway: If you struggle with showing something visually, you can still make a great impact with your sound and music.
10. Core Collective
Core Collective crowdfunded for boutique fitness studio classes and their video focused on the aspirational – lots of well-toned bodies exercising to upbeat, powerful music. The combination of strong imagery and fierce music fits perfectly with their target audience.
Tip Takeaway: A strong intro to your short funder video can help set the mood and tone immediately – make good use of those first minutes.
Some Final Tips for Making Your Own Crowdfunding Videos:
- Keep quality high. That means good light, sound and visuals.
- Don’t wing it: script any to-camera pieces and voiceover.
- Get to the point, and quickly, patience is limited.
- Think about using templates to help keep your video looking professional and sleek.
- If you don’t ask people to fund you, they won’t, so create a sense of urgency and remember to directly ask people to fund/back/support you.
If you’ve had success with your awesome crowdfunding video, you can tell us all about it in the comments.