Kickstarter’s website has rapidly grown in popularity since it was established in 2009. It is an invaluable forum for artists to receive funding for their work. Kickstarter facilitates the process of crowd funding, in which people who are fans of an artist’s work will send them money directly to fund their projects. Many Kickstarter campaigns have been launched since its inception, but a select few stand out as being the most successful. Here are the five most successful Kickstarter campaigns and what we can learn from them.
Veronica Mars Film
Veronica Mars was a television show that aired from 2004-2007 on the UPN Network. Although the show only lasted three seasons, it developed a substantial cult following. Series creator Rob Thomas, and starring actress Kirsten Bell, desperately wanted to find a way to continue the series as a film. After Warner Bros. declined to fund the project, the duo launched a Kickstarter campaign. They offered incentives for anyone who donated at least ten dollars. An online video was also created to promote the project. It broke records by reaching the one million and two million marks faster than any other campaign. The film was produced on a budget of 5.7 million dollars and will be released in March 2014.
Pebble, a technology company, developed a plan to create a wristwatch that could show smartphone notifications. After struggling to gain support from investors, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign in 2012. Donaters were allowed to preorder the smartwatch at a discount. The response was tremendous. It raised nearly five million dollars in less than a week. The campaign ended with over ten million dollars raised, the highest amount ever by a Kickstarter campaign.
In 2012, Ouya set out to release a microconsole that would rival videogame giants such as the Playstation 3, Wii, and XBox. It launched a Kickstarter campaign in July 2012 to test whether there was large public interest. The campaign raised over eight million dollars, and the system was produced and released in 2013. The Ouya allows its users to create and develop their own games.
Double Fine Productions, a computer game company, launched one of the first successful Kickstarter campaigns in February 2012. Double Fine asked the general public for donations for what would become Broken Age, an adventure game. The campaign raised nearly 3.5 million and set a precedent for many successful Kickstarter campaigns related to videogames and electronics.
Wish I Was Here
Director/actor Zach Braff, best known for the hit film “Garden State”, sought Kickstarter donations to fund the budget of his new comedy film, “Wish I Was Here”. Braff was hoping to raise two million for the project, but eventually received over three million. The film was picked up for distribution and will be released in 2014.
Artists who are considering launching a Kickstarter campaign should take heed of these examples. By following these models of success, their campaign will have a substantially increased chance at success. Each campaign was able to successfully exploit existing public demand. They also offered enticing rewards to anyone who donated at least a minimal amount. Kickstarter campaigns will be successful if they offer a product that the public is interested in, advertise the campaign effectively, and offer high quality rewards to contributors.