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View Full Version : Celeb Crowdfunding - Good or Bad?



Cara@BloomVC
11-17-2013, 06:32 AM
Hello all :)

I was wondering what the general feeling is about celebrities crowdfunding?

We've seen plenty of examples, from Zach Braff to Spike Lee, but some of the reaction has been very negative. Do you think celebrities are entitled to use crowdfunding or is this simply the rich taking advantage? Of course, the argument is that supporting a crowdfunding project is entirely voluntary but some feel that it's an abuse of crowdfunding, which essentially is trying to democratise funding for those that need it most.

Please do share your thoughts, and if you're interested, we have a short discussion on our blog: http://www.bloomvc.com/blog-post/crowdfunding-for-richer-for-poorer

MatthewJHanson
11-17-2013, 11:09 AM
I think the main question is does it "take away" funds from other projects, or does it bring more money into the crowd funding pool? I have no evidence, but I suspect it's the second one, so I'm fine with it.

Cara@BloomVC
11-17-2013, 11:45 AM
Thanks for your insightful comments Matthew :)

startingtrends
11-17-2013, 03:13 PM
If someone is a celebrity this does not automatically mean they will be successful at crowdfunding, this has already been proven. Celebrity or not, anyone can flop or be successful when it comes to crowdfunding. Sure, being a celebrity can help in regards to reach but I don't think this takes away from the industry or has any impact in regards to whether there is equal opportunity or not.

Cara@BloomVC
11-17-2013, 04:20 PM
Very true! We've often been confident that certain people will do well at crowdfunding because of their experience or size of their community, only to be proven wrong. It seems there are no magic tricks, no secrets to success, simply a combination of great ideas and a lot of hard work!

admin
11-18-2013, 10:22 PM
In my opinion, they should have just as many rights as everyone else when it comes to crowdfunding. Having said this, it will be up to the general public whether or not the funds will be raised. Sure, Spike Lee could have used his own money to fund his project, however he chose to offer rewards and thus crowdfund it. Crowdfunding does more than just raise money though. It raises awareness of a particular project, in the case of Braff and Lee, a movie, and it also is a good indication of demand. If a project gets funded that means the market wants to see it, hence it's worth pursuing.

So basically Spike Lee accomplished 3 things without having to spend a dime. He didn't just get to use other people's money to fund his project, but he also was able to get free publicity, as well as get market insight on the demand for such a movie.

Cara@BloomVC
11-19-2013, 07:22 AM
I agree and said as much in the Bloom blog post. After all, crowdfunding is about being democratic and I think everyone deserves the chance to pitch to the crowd. It's an interesting debate.

Glad you're enjoying the discussion DevonaBorel!

alifeforkennedy
11-19-2013, 01:22 PM
I think it's great to get people interested but can be very impersonal

CordArmor
11-19-2013, 08:50 PM
I noticed on one of the threads here that someone had said that Shia Labeouf made a $10,000 contribution to her campaign! I guess if they are willing to contribute to the community, then they are every bit as entitled to participate as anyone else! Just my opinion.

admin
11-19-2013, 11:00 PM
Yes, I also know someone who got a $1,000 contribution on their movie from Spike Lee. Pretty cool!

Cara@BloomVC
11-23-2013, 04:55 AM
Great comments - good to know the celebs are willing to support other campaigns too!

Leggy Horse
11-26-2013, 03:11 AM
I'd say the positive aspects outweigh the negatives. Celebrity crowdfunding wouldn't necessarily draw attention from worthy projects by unknown artists and designers. The way I see it, it would draw more attention to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. News of celeb projects would have considerable draw, and who's to say that people who go to Kickstarter to check out a celeb project won't end up looking at others on the site?

Cara@BloomVC
11-26-2013, 06:48 AM
Great point! Particularly as we still need much higher awareness of crowdfunding, and the fact that celebs are using it shows that crowdfunding is a credible ad desirable funding model.

CrowdFundFusion
11-27-2013, 07:08 PM
I don't see anything negative about it since it is up to the backers where to spend their money and people on this thread have made a very good point - that is raises the awareness of crowdfunding. As big as the industry is getting, it is still in it's infancy, too many people still don't even know what crowdfunding is so if press is willing to write about celebs creating campaigns then all that will happen is that a percentage of the people who read those articles will eventually become interested in crowdfunding themselves and either back a campaign or even start one of their own.

Cara@BloomVC
11-28-2013, 06:03 AM
Well said CrowdFundFusion :)

I'd be interested to know if anyone has actually backed a celeb campaign and why? Does the decision process differ for celeb projects? I'm hoping that it doesn't and most make their decision based on the quality of the project and of course, their own personal interests.

smartinvestor
11-28-2013, 07:30 AM
I suspect though that a few might be drawn in to backing a celeb campaign on the basis they feel there is less likelihood of failure of the project.

Cara@BloomVC
11-28-2013, 05:21 PM
Fair point! Perception of failure is very important - we talk about hitting the 'magic 20%' in the first few days, which provides reassurance and builds momentum. Of course, there are lots of other ways to send positive signals too.

CrowdFundFusion
11-29-2013, 07:41 PM
Ah yes the magic 20 (ish), it's not a sure fire indicator but usually if a campaign is just dribbling in, there's a decent chance it won't hit.

Cara@BloomVC
12-06-2013, 04:08 PM
Best of luck with your campaign! It's interesting that you don't want to mention celebrity involvement - do you think it would change how your project is perceived?

admin
12-07-2013, 10:30 AM
Here is an interesting concept to think about.... What if the Celeb project underperforms and doesn't reach it's funding, that could say a lot about the Celebrity. Although many of the celeb projects hit their goals, most of they barely did, which makes me believe that people are more willing to help out those who really need the money. Any publicity that a celebrity project brings to the various crowdfunding Platforms in general though is good publicity, and will spill over to help others seeking funding.


I suspect though that a few might be drawn in to backing a celeb campaign on the basis they feel there is less likelihood of failure of the project.

Cara@BloomVC
12-07-2013, 12:33 PM
Interesting point! There does seem to be a general opinion that if you're a celebrity then you can afford to fund your own project, and therefore shouldn't be getting help. However, I think crowdfunding should be considered a viable funding alternative, not a last resort!

Cara@BloomVC
12-12-2013, 12:28 PM
Very true :)

kimrody
12-18-2013, 10:51 PM
I think celebrities should be able to crowdfund. I think it can be good if it helps raise awareness for crowdfunding sites.

Cara@BloomVC
12-19-2013, 07:41 AM
We agree :) It'll be interesting to see if more celebrities turn to crowdfunding as the industry grows.