Top Ten Crowdfunding Videos

You’re not asking the viewer to buy a product – you’re asking them to ‘back’ a product. That’s what makes crowdfunding unique. 

The power of video is nowhere more evident than on Crowdfunding Platforms where millions of dollars are being raised on the strength of a single video. With over 400 crowdfunding platforms in existence today you cannot ignore the scope and impact of crowdfunding. Crowdfunding Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are becoming important platforms to help launch new business and non-profit initiatives. They’re also beginning to be used as an ongoing business platform for established businesses looking to promote new products again… and again.

Crowdfunding Videos Defined
A crowdfunding video is used to raise money for the production run of a prototype product featured on a Crowdfunding Platform like Kickstarter..

And just like every other web-based platform, there are right ways and wrong ways of engaging an audience. Here are four keys to success when developing video for crowdfunding websites:

  1. Trust. You have to present a credible story and you have to appear trustworthy. There are examples of campy, over-the-top videos on Kickstarter (see below) that have garnered a lot of views from social sharing. Ultimately, you are asking someone to trust you enough to pay for a not-yet-manufactured and untested product. That’s a big ask. Being silly / campy / funny can work and can certainly help with social sharing, but it can also make that whole ‘trust thing’ a bit more tenuous.
  2. Clear and unambiguous product benefits. There is so much stacked against you on this platform that if you don’t make it super obvious what specific benefits (not features) you are going to deliver, then no amount of flash or positioning or personality will help you. The benefits of your product, versus the risk of acquiring it, must be even larger than products purchased through traditional channels because you are already selling to a (rightfully) skeptical audience.
  3. Something more. This is what makes Crowdfunding sites so unique and perhaps this should have been listed first. People go to Crowdfunding sites for a reason. They’re looking for a cool new product for sure, but they’re also looking for a reason to care, a reason to get excited or inspired. This is what makes Crowdfunding platforms so interesting because you’re not just investing in a product, you’re also investing in the people and the story that supports that product. And you’re sharing all of this with your fellow investors. That’s unique to this platform and that’s why video is so critical to the success of a new crowdfunded project.
  4. Be interesting. This is true of all marketing but when you are trying to stand out in a crowd of people, all with their hands out,  you’d better give your audience something to really care about.

 

Here are our Top Ten Crowdfunding Videos:


Brand: Artiphon {Los Angeles, USA}
Production Company: Unknown.

This video is one of the best we’ve seen, here’s why:

This video can be broken down into three parts:

  • Part 1. Very smart way to introduce the product. Show people being introduced to the product… and then using it.. and having fun with it… and learning to use it… with virtually no effort… showcasing it’s versatility… and so excited about the product that they want to share their experience…
    Also smart to include a cross section representing different potential users from young novices to experienced musicians. Great beginning.
    Crowdfunding videos often start with the founder diving right into the product features. While this approach can be successful, it puts a lot of pressure on the founder to be really compelling on camera because you’ve got about 10 seconds for the viewer to decide whether or not he/she is going to keep watching.
  • Part 2. This video waits until about two minutes in before you hear from the founder. “We’ve created an instrument that adapts to you and you can play it any way you want.” That’s a big, bold promise and it’s also very intriguing for anyone who’s made it this far into the video. The founder does a great job of explaining why this product is not just different, but revolutionary. This is definitely the tone you want to set any time you introduce something new in an industry.
  • Part 3. It’s a musical device… so show me the music. They really deliver here with some impressive performances culminating in an engaging mash-up of musicians using the product in very different ways.
  • So yeah, I want one.

Brand: Biolite Basecamp {New York City, USA}
Creative Agency: Unknown

Having a purpose is better than having a product.

  • Biolite has successfully launched previous crowdfunded products and has taken the feedback from their users to develop their newest crowdfunded offering: The Biolite Basecamp stove.
  • I really like the approach of promoting this as a “crowd-demanded” product. It’s a clever idea and it takes the pressure of ‘proving’ to the viewer that the product is right for them. The ‘social proof’ is already built into the product.
  • One of reasons you’re seeing serial crowdfunders emerge is that it’s easier each time you launch a successful product. You don’t need to convince the viewer that you’ll actually deliver on your promise. It’s a different business model when you don’t have to raise money to launch a new product.
  • Most importantly – supporting us now helps us take new risks on products in the future.” Give the viewer lots of reasons to back your product.
  • A comfortable mix of explanatory motion graphics, product shots and reference footage helps deliver a solid and compelling video.

Brand: Coolest Cooler {Los Angeles, USA}
Production Company: Unknown

Videos don’t require amazing production values if the message is clear and well-delivered.

  • The video above contains both a 30 second commercial at the beginning and the original Kickstarter video.
  • A blender.. seriously? Man, this would be a good video to do a parody of – introduce 14 ‘extra’ features like a television, a backscratcher, a disco ball, etc…
  • That silliness aside, as soon as the video introduces the fact that, “The basic cooler has not changed in… forever,” they had my attention. If you can strike that resonant chord of “you know… that’s true…”’ with your viewer, you’re off to a great start.
  • There’s something compelling about the delivery and style of the video. It just seems to work. It’s almost like they’ve employed different style elements from other marketing videos and patched together a winner. The production quality is not consistent, but that’s just part of the charm.
  • What ties everything together for me however is Ryan Grepper’s delivery.  There’s something very engaging about his on-screen delivery. If he ups the production value a little on his next product video, he has a very promising crowdfunding road ahead of him.
  • A blender… with kids… in a park.. what could go wrong?
  • … and this video is #2 all time in funds raised for a kickstarter campaign (#1 Pebble time raised $20.3 million). This campaign raised $13,285,226 which represented 26,570 percent of the goal on August 29, 2014).

Brand: Peak Design {San Francisco, USA} 

Production Company: Unknown

This video is testament to the future of crowdfunding becoming a mainstream business model.

  • This video is really well done. I would have started with the v/o right away. (I can just imagine a Director’s or Art Director’s response to this comment ‘We’re not THAT type of company – we do things at our own pace…“. Fair enough, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they experienced some viewer drop-off in the first 20 seconds of the video.)
  • It’s really important to get to the point early in a crowdfunding video to give the viewer a reason to keep watching. There is so much good footage available today (either shooting yourself or by stock footage) that viewers become less impressed by long sequences of beauty shots.
  • That said, once the narration kicked in, the video really captured your attention. It starts off as a corporate overview and then at around the two minute mark introduces the product. I wouldn’t generally recommend this approach but the production value and editing were good enough to keep you engaged until the video arrived at the product portion.
  • This video clearly indicates the direction for crowdfunding – larger more established companies are going to continue to grow and thrive within the crowdfunding framework. You can argue the philosophical merits of this but this is just the natural evolution of market.
  • Great video.

Brand: Pono {San Francisco, USA}
Production Company: Unknown

Testimonials are critical – especially when they are from music legends.

  • Here’s how you create the perfect crowdfunding video:
    1. Start a Hall-of-Fame music career that spans 50 years where you are respected as one of the greatest musician/song writers in popular music.
    2.
    Create a crowdfunding video to launch a new product you’ve been noodling with for over a decade.
    3. Get a bunch of music royalty to endorse your product…. and you’re done. It’s that        easy.
  • Bruce Springsteen!, Elton John!, Jack Johnson!, Kid Rock… OK, not Kid Rock… but you get the idea – this is crazy. I really don’t need to see the product if these people all love it, here’s my credit card.
  • At close to 12 minutes there’s a lot going on in the video.
  • Starting with endorsements, especially enthusiastic endorsements from famous people – this is as good as it gets. In fact, if you can’t think of anything else to do for a crowdsourcing video and you know you have a winner product on your hands, then just get a bunch of people to try it – film their reaction, and close by telling people how to buy it.
  • Superstars aside, there are few things better than capturing the genuine excitement and passion from an enthusiastic user of your product.
  • Not sure why Neil opted to be driving his Lincvolt for his on-camera bits…

Brand: Andromium SuperBook {San Francisco, USA}
Production Company: Unknown

This is the Prototypical Crowdsourcing Video.

  • If there was ever a Crowdsourcing video formula, this video follows it to a tee.
    Have the founder state the problem, show the problem and then introduce how your product solves that problem. Cut between shots of the founder and the product, ensure that you include all the proof points about why this product is well tested and ready for manufacturing, and wrap it up with a clean, clear, straight-to-camera delivery asking people to take part in the journey. Nice.
  • This video is really well done. Every aspect of the video from filming, to on-screen graphics, to scripting and editing, was done with considerable attention to detail.
  • My only complaint is that I didn’t initially understand that what they are selling is a computer carcass that plugs into your phone to give it a big screen and keyboard, but that’s probably just me.
  • The presenter/founder provides as credible a delivery as you’re likely to see in any crowdfunding videos.
  • Very nicely done.


Brand: Who Gives a Crap {Sidney, Australia}
Production Company: Unknown

Who doesn’t enjoy a bit of bathroom humor?

  • This video starts off looking like a College Humor skit but ends up promising something of real value.
  • The bathroom humour ensured that the video would be shared socially. Then at around the 1:00 mark the video switches gears . ‘50% of the profits of this product will be directed to sanitation projects in the developing world.’ Wow!
  • A very large grey-zone exists in cause-based products that we have to come to terms with in our own way. Loose claims like ‘A portion of our profits go towards the…” or “Proceeds from this initiative will be used to…’ are unverifiable and vague enough to be virtually meaningless. Even if you make a bold claim, you can still easily manipulate the profit you report (Hollywood accounting for instance). So you need to support that claim with as much credibility as you can deliver in your video. This video succeeds in this regard.
  • Even though the video oscillates between potty humour and social cause, the the cofounder, Simon Griffiths, manages to strike the unlikely balance between levity and gravitas.
  • Sometimes you have to take a bit of a risk to get attention and to do the right thing.

Brand:Sensibo {San Francisco, USA}
Production Company: Unknown

Sensibo succeeds at delivering.

  • Senesibo recruited Frank Underwood junior to be the presenter for this low-key ‘Dollar Shave Club’ style video supporting their Indiegogo campaign.
  • The video delivers everything it needs to. It shows how the product works and how easy it is to use, it mentions the research that has gone into the product, and it’s ‘green’ attributes. It does this with an engaging style that will ensure the viewer will watch the video through to the end.
  • The production values are very good here and the presenter provides a very solid delivery.

Brand: Exploding Kittens {Los Angeles, USA}
Production Company: Unknown

This video had me at the title.

  • Who wouldn’t want to play a card game that involves exploding kittens?
  • The promise of Kittens, Goats, Magical Enchiladas and Weaponized Black Hair draws you into the video and as you learn more about the game you want to keep watching.
  • I’d really like to play that game. Ultimately, that’s the response you want after someone watches your crowdfunding video.
  • CNBC just reported in a segment that the game developers have sold over $50 million worth of this card game. That’s staggering.
Jimm Fox

Founder

Jimm has been working in video and marketing for the last 25 years agency side, client side and in video production.

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