We look at opportunities for charities to use the celebrity custom video app
Cameo was created in 2016 by CEO Steven Galanis. Fans can use the site to book a personalised video from their favourite celebrity for an advertised price. The cost of a video can vary anywhere between a couple of pounds to somewhere in the thousands.
The platform’s popularity has been explosive among users and celebs over the past year. Around 30,000 celebrities, from A-Z list, have registered with the site to respond to an average of 2,000 video requests per day.
You can book big names like Snoop Dog or Caitlyn Jenner to say happy birthday to your boss or make your colleagues in policy smile with a video from their least favourite ‘political commentator.’ Cameo videos have become a digital alternative to nipping into Hallmark or Clinton Cards!
Cameo’s business model is based on providing affordable access to celebrity content, which could be an opportunity for charities. Expensive appearance fees are hard to justify for non-profit organisations, but doing the work to find unpaid celebrity patrons and ambassadors can also be a challenge.
Cameo for business is designed to provide organisations, like charities, with an enhanced service plan. It includes a dedicated customer service rep, a waived service fee (5%), prioritised requests, compilation videos, centralised billing, and access to add-ons.
With a Cameo for business account a celebrity video is licensed to you for 30 days for use on your website and one of your social media channels, including advertising. Any video commissioned will carry the Cameo logo, but with a VIP package you can request a co-branded logo.
Using one or two celebrity partners in annual awareness and fundraising campaigns can really help to cut through the news agenda. For digital channels, using multiple Cameo videos from different celebrities could allow you to reach different target audience groups with tailored messages.
The charity sector has seen a significant shift towards virtual events and many charities plan to continue with a hybrid model. You could commission Cameo videos to open and close your virtual event or even to present awards for your top fundraisers. With the VIP package, you can also commission a live celebrity drop-in to your virtual ‘special events’.
The first communication to a new supporter or the thank you they receive after donating are critical points in their journey with you. You could request a Cameo to use as a star-studded welcome or thank you message.
It can be tricky to think of different ways to say thank you to volunteers for long service. A personalised thank you message from a favourite celeb, for the same price as a bunch of flowers, could make a long-standing volunteer feel appreciated.
Many charities are thinking hard about where and how staff will work in the future. With most continuing to work remotely or looking to a hybrid model, the office whip round for a colleague’s birthday card and cake has become redundant. Perhaps digital collections for a Cameo by your colleague’s celeb crush will become the go-to work birthday gift.
Choosing the right stars to commission brings up an interesting conundrum. Paying for celebrity time can generate negative press coverage, so the level of investment is an important factor to consider.
When prices start at as little as £2, how much might be reported as too much to pay? Costs for Cameos could be covered by corporate partners or major supporters to mitigate the risk of bad PR.
Aside from the cost issue, if you can choose from any celebrity on Cameo, how do you decide? Your audiences will know that the video has been commissioned, so there may not be a need to select someone with a connection. They don’t even need to be based in the same geographic region. Perhaps choosing a celebrity that resonates with your audience for other reasons will be more impactful.
If you do choose to commission a household name to create content for your charity, the terms of service state that you must disclose the name of your organisation and the celeb has a right to refuse the request. If you are unhappy with the video created, investing in the VIP service allows you to request a ‘re-do.’
Cameo for business pricing is not listed on their website, but you can book a call to find out more. The service is currently only available for organisations in the US and Canada, but there are plans to extend the service to UK-based companies very soon.