This week, we got to check out Kickstarter, a project funding website, and compare good and bad proposal videos in different categories; it was actually pretty interesting.
Good video: Posy
When reading the description, I thought this idea was sort of, well, pointless (there doesn’t seem to be much of a market for pins you can put “stemmed objects” in). But, the video’s refreshing simplicity actually somewhat changed my mind. Showing the pin “in action” while the girl arranges the flowers (and laughs with the guys) actually makes it seem like a fun, artsy sort of thing that anyone can do. The relaxing music and the table of flowers adds to the feeling of “coolness” as well. Also, their use of not only casual outfits, but also formal suits as the base of their pinning made it further make sense as an actually sellable product. While someone casually going out may not need an arrangement of flowers on their chest, someone going to a prom or a wedding might be very happy to find a pin that allows them arrange their own boutonniere. So, despite being a very small and slightly pointless item (at least to me), the video made it seem quite a bit better and I understand now why they have so many people backing them. I guess the tone of the video makes all the difference.
Not so good video: The Ultimate Bling Boots
Trying to keep my dislike for the actual idea aside, I still found this proposal to be somewhat lacking. Unlike the last video, with it’s sound, many angles, multiple people, and multiple shots of and uses for the item, this video was simply a plain iPhone video (even with the obvious black borders) showing the product. Not only did it lack music, there was actually noise from wind and cars in the background, showing that the person clearly did not take the time to do more than go outside their home to record the video. For a possible investor, this may be a turn off because it shows a certain lack of dedication. Yes, they made the product, but they do not seem to show enough pride in it to invest the time and effort to make their proposal video seem professional or at least slightly high quality (which somewhat suggests the product is poor quality as well). They attempt to show it from multiple angles by actually moving the shoe around with their hand, but this makes it look even more unprofessional and adds to the skepticism about the product’s true quality. I think even if someone had loved the boots (a few obviously have; they do have about $500 pledged so far), they may still not support their production simply due to the lack of effort used in creating this pitch. Overall I think this truly shows that no matter how great of an idea you may have, you need to invest in the professionalism of your marketing to even get the funding to begin producing your idea at all.
Good Video: The Skid Robot Project
Not only do I love the idea of this project (one of the reasons I clicked on its link), I thought their marketing of the idea was quite successful as well. Yes, the music was somewhat reminiscent of a Sarah Mclachlan SPCA commercial, but it gave the video a good tone of somewhat hopeful seriousness. I liked that they included interviews of people and real images both of the people living in the streets and also of the artwork they are doing to bring more social acknowledgement. It somewhat worked like a movie trailer; they gave little bits of what they experienced and encourage you to donate so you can see what they can truly do with the whole project. Their use of a Huffington Post quote about their work was incredibly smart, as it adds to the legitimacy of what they are doing. It also suggests that if a huge newspaper supports them, you should as well. The ending clip of them actually creating their artwork was interesting because it further connects the viewer (and possible investor) to what they are doing as it removes the secrecy of the process associated with just before and after pictures of their work. So, even beyond the actual content of the proposal, the video itself suggests the project is something worth contributing to.
Not so good video: Nothing
It was actually incredibly hard to find a bad video in the art section (turns out artists are good at making things look nice, big shocker), but I found a few random projects with only pictures and very little info about the actual project. This one didn’t even seem real at first because it is literally titled “Nothing” and only has a blank white space as the picture with the caption “This is an art project to have my dream realized. Sponsor this, and you’ll see my art spread throughout the world”. Proposals like this seem to fall short because if the investor isn’t even sure what you plan to do, why would they support your work? So, while the projects that said “I will draw you things” and “I want to paint anything and everything on a canvas” may seem to have meaning to the person that created them, to the rest of the world they are incredibly vague and slightly pointless. When people invest their money into something they want to make sure they know what they are getting into (or at least have a good idea), and so telling them “I make stuff” or “spread my art”, without even a picture of said art, does not seem to be the best proposal idea.