Did you know that crowdfunding campaigns with pitch videos raise four times more funds than those without? A great video can not only encourage people to contribute, but serve as spreadable content that is easy for your backers to share far and wide.
We recommend keeping pitch videos under 3 minutes long and making the most of the first 30 seconds. With creative control, you get to decide whether you want to be funny, emotional or serious in your video. These 10 pitch videos from 2015 campaigns do an amazing job demonstrating some of our best practices as well as offering some new storytelling innovations of their own.
Super Troopers 2
A cult classic and crowd favorite, Super Troopers is a comedy about five Vermont state troopers whose pranks and antics constantly get them in trouble. 14 years after the original, the Broken Lizard crew looked to Indiegogo and the crowd to fund the highly anticipated sequel, Super Troopers 2. Their entertaining pitch video features the cast in character and plenty of references to the original movie. Not only do they do a great job of explaining why they are raising the money and what kinds of perks they’re offering, but they also engage the audience with a unique proposition that encourages backers to contribute. Having your actors appear in character in your pitch video, and even offering perks and extended scenes from the pitch video (see the “Farva’s Trunk” perk) can be a great way to get fans excited about the film universe you’re trying to create.
Warning: Explicit language
The Honest Politician
With all the buzz around elections, presidential candidates and political corruption, Represent.Us wanted to help fix America’s political system by running a satirical candidate for president. The Honest Politician pitch video starts off just like any political ad, creating a relatable experience for viewers. They then use short clips from other sources (The Daily Show, The Today Show) to show the widespread concern that presidential elections are being decided by big donors and special interests. This strategy of using real media clips is especially useful for cause-related campaigns that want to demonstrate how their projects relate to current issues.
cuddle + kind
The Woodgate family started cuddle + kind when they found out the devastating impact of childhood hunger worldwide. Their pitch video does a fantastic job of telling their story, first by focusing on the moment that inspired them to start their project, then by showing how these adorable dolls are beautifully hand-crafted. The entire video clearly showcases their passion for helping children around the world. In addition to strong storytelling, the cuddle + kind pitch video features several close-ups of kids cuddling up to these delightful characters, providing strong visual proof that these dolls are high quality and that real people love them.
Kuli Kuli Moringa
When launching a second crowdfunding campaign, it’s important to explain the impact of your first campaign in order to get people excited to support you again. Kuli Kuli Moringa’s video explains both what they’ve accomplished since the first campaign, and what their funding goal is now within the first minute of their video. Their first campaign’s success was able to bring Moringa Superfood bars to stores across the US and support 500 farmers in Northern Ghana. By summarizing their amazing accomplishments in the first part of the video, they help frame their current campaign’s goal: to develop a new Moringa-based energy shot to support farmers in Haiti. One strategy that makes this video successful is their use of testimonials. Throughout their video, they show people trying Kuli Kuli and getting super excited about it. You can’t help but be excited to join this crowd and try it yourself!
There are some products out there that can be difficult to understand, even when you see a video of someone using it. The team behind Flic, an IoT button that creates shortcuts for things you can do on your phone, brilliantly solves this problem by showing both graphic overlays that explain what Flic does as well as many examples of how Flic can be used in everyday life. Throughout the video we see how Flic can be used to play music, turn off your lights, get directions, make a call, order a taxi, send a distress signal, as well as take a selfie. By shooting it all in a backstage musical style in-studio, the team shows how you don’t need to do expensive on-set location shooting to really showcase how your product looks in action. Just explain how it works using words and examples that anyone can understand.
Micro Drone 3.0
Micro Drone 3.0 is a small, customizable drone that is easy to control and helps take beautiful HD aerial footage. What stands out about this video is that they do a great job of both building trust and demonstrating this drone’s versatility. The video integrates several testimonials from press, conventions and partners such as a Patrick Buckley from DODOcase, which helps bolster their credibility as innovators in their field. Additionally, the video has amazing footage of the drone performing tricky feats such as flying underneath a skateboard, around a living room and through a forest–all of which show off how much precise control the Micro Drone 3.0 offers.
Flula and the Making of Johnny Fist
YouTube star Flula Borg’s pitch video for his movie within a movie, Johnny Fist, perfectly captures the importance of enthusiasm for your project. The video begins with footage from Flula’s first person perspective, only to reveal the camera crew who is also filming him. What works about the pitch video overall is Flula’s hilarious iterations on basic asks. He states, “I’m speaking to you because I have a large, large project in my brain.” The guerilla-style filming gives the pitch an exciting improvisational feel and offers the audience a taste of the hilarious antics to come if the film is funded.
When you get Firefly’s Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion together, the results are bound to surprise and delight. For the Con Man campaign video, Nathan and Alan appeal to fans to help fund their series, which offers a backstage pass into their real-life experiences as stars in the sci-fi community. For any film campaign, showing the dynamic between creators can offer fans an exciting glimpse of what they can expect to see on-screen. The most entertaining part of the Con Man video is when Alan barges into the homes of famous past co-stars (Seth Green, Felicia Day, Gina Torres) to see if they’d be interested in working on the project. Getting as many people who are working on a project involved in the video can be a great way of expanding your video’s potential audience and inspiring contributors to join the crowd.
Luna Moon Lamp
Sometimes you don’t need words to explain what a product looks and feels like. This video draws us in with a close-up shot of an astronaut exploring the surface of the moon. The camera then pans out to show that this astronaut is actually a child’s toy, and the moon’s surface is Luna, a lamp that looks exactly like the moon. Through filming the Luna lamp in different spaces, we as viewers can see firsthand what Luna looks like, both as a large floor lamp and and as a lamp so small that it fits in the palm of your hand.
We’ve had several campaigns experiment with shorter videos than the typical 2 to 3 minute length that we recommend. Crowdfunding video strategy is always evolving and shorter videos can capture an audience’s attention immediately–the perfect kind of bite-sized content that’s easy to watch and share. Drumi, a small, foot-powered washing machine, made two videos that are each about 1 minute in length. Before their campaign launched, they were able to build their audience through a short video that simply showed the close-ups of the product in action. For their crowdfunding video, Drumi kept to the simple, yet effective, concept of showing their product in action, but added key information in textual overlay and showed Drumi in different environments. Both videos were highly effective in helping Drumi develop a pre-launch audience and getting people interested in learning more about their product.
Which of your favorite 2015 pitch videos made the list? Which ones do you think deserve a shoutout? Let us know in the comments!
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