Kickstarter and Brand Transparency

Posted on: October 01, 2013 by Nettel Media

Category: General

Kickstarter and Brand Transparency

This September, Kickstarter came to Canada. Artists, entrepreneurs, and backers are all invited to join the newest chapter of this very successful website that advertises itself as a “new way to fund creative projects… through direct support from people like you”.


Kickstarter and other crowdsourcing websites have allowed a multitude of projects to be funded by people across the globe. An elderly woman who was subject to bullying and taunts on a school bus in the summer of 2012 was able to retire following over $700,000 in donations from individuals from across the world using the site Indiegogo. Radiohead successfully and independently released their In Rainbows album in 2007 using a pay-what-you-like system, and the short film Inocente, which raised over $50,000 through crowdsourced funding on Kickstarter, won an Oscar this year.


Monetary support for a Kickstarter project is often awarded through physical means, determined based on the pre-set donation amount you choose, such as a $1,000 pledge to get you to a premiere of a crowdsourced film.


It seems like any company could benefit from crowdsourcing, however it is important to note that successful campaigns manage their own brand story by gaining trust from the audience.


A campaign titled “9 Year Old Building Her First RPG & KICKS IT FORWARD!” detailed the story of 9-year old Mackenzie, who wanted to code her own game at an Role-Playing Game (RPG) camp to prove to her older brothers that she could. The page included videos, content written by her mother (because she is under the legal age to be the main representative), and an overall heartwarming story. Although the story touched many people, after some Reddit users investigated the backstory, questions were raised about the truthfulness of this campaign.


Not only was Mackenzie’s mother a successful entrepreneur, she was previously named one of Fortune’s most power women entrepreneurs, and works for a company that was sold for $100 million. It also has been pointed out that the campaign violates many of the Kickstarter laws, one of which is “fund my life”.


After the controversy, the campaign continued on to raise up to $24,000, way above the original goal of $829, and according to the page, Mackenzie is building her game.


What all notable Kickstarter stories have in common is a story that is shareable and accessible to an audience.


Although audiences may feel they have direct control of the outcome of a project, websites such as Kickstarter still are able to dictate an agenda, and it is important to be mindful of that when choosing to back a project, or create your own.


Many notable Kickstarter successes have been films. If you are thinking about creating a film, and are looking for support, it is a great place to start. For more information on how Nettel can help your vision come to life, contact us.

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