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When trying to get people to donate to your crowdfunding campaign, it’s important to think about your incentives. A good reward can make the difference between a successful campaign and a failure (and, in some cases, a public mockery). Here are some of the most outrageous Kickstarter and Indiegogo rewards to ever be offered. Some are on this list because of how great they are. Some are here because it’s hard to believe anyone thought people would actually want them.
Pretty much everything on TLC’s Kickstarter page. From video dance tutorials to a TLC slumber party, this Kickstarter campaign, which launched just last week and has already far surpassed its goal, has everything a 90s kid could dream of. For $2,000, you can even get a personal training session from some of the best abs in music history.
(Not) Run-D.M.C.’s Adidas. If you were even remotely aware of the existence of rap music in the 80s, you were familiar with Run-D.M.C. And if you knew Run-D.M.C., you knew their Adidas. The band’s shoes were almost as iconic as their music. So when Darryl “DMC” McDaniels started a Kickstarter project for “the first 100% authentic, unapologetic, indie, hip hop comic book,” of course he offered up some autographed sneakers as an incentive. So why did not one single backer claim this reward? A cultural and fashion treasure for only $1,000? Maybe because they’re not actually Darryl’s Adidas. Instead they look to be a fresh-off-the-shelf $50 pair of shoes… basically being resold for $1,000. That might have something to do with why the project only raised 5% of its $100,000 goal.
A stranger’s drunken ramblings. The Mysterious Letters project wants to send a letter to every person on Earth. For a $24 donation, you could have received “a unique hand-written postcard composed whilst we were sober, clear-headed and utterly focused on the task.” For an extra dollar, $25 gets you “a unique hand-scrawled postcard written while we were drunk, which we’ll regret horribly by the time it arrives.” Proofreading costs $50, though.
Ze Frank will live your life. Well, metaphorically speaking. For $999, you could claim this prize: “Send me your shoes and I will walk a mile in them and send you a video of the experience back.” Alternatively, a $69 donation could get you “nothing. shame on you.” That “nothing,” by the way, was claimed by 24 backers.
A date with a bartender. A British poet/bartender named Tom wants to find love, but alas, can’t afford to take women on dates. (Refer to the “poet/bartender” portion of the previous sentence.) So he wants YOU to pay for them! And for a £100 contribution to his Indiegogo campaign, you can be one of the women he takes out. Of course, for £500, you get a date and a poem. Which has to make you wonder… what does a £400 poem look like?
Your name here. Permanently. Director Matt Porterfield had some permanent rewards available for help funding his film, I Used to Be Darker. For $1,000, he would get your initials tattooed on his arm (4 people claimed this), and for $10,000, he’d tattoo “Special Thanks, (your full name)” there (no takers).
Famous followers. One of the most popular celebrity campaign rewards is the promise to follow you on Twitter. For just a few hundred dollars, you can force Melissa Joan Hart or Kristen Bell to read your thoughts on Scandal. #LivingtheDream.
One single bite of potato salad. You’ve probably heard about the utterly silly Kickstarter to help a guy make potato salad. After landing $55,482 over his initial $10 goal, Zack Danger Brown hosted a free benefit concert with food trucks, bands, potato salad-themed events, and corporate sponsors. But initially, one of the mid-tier rewards was one single bite of his potato salad, which, one would assume, you’d either have to pick up from Zack’s home in Columbus, Ohio, or have it mailed to you. Neither option sounds worth your $3.