Digital Celebrity Meet-and-Greet Platforms (2)

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Part
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Digital Celebrity Meet-and-Greet Platforms (2)

Cameo, Memmo, Wysh, Greetly, CelebVM, Starsona, and Omaze are the key platforms in the celebrity video messaging/digital celebrity meet-and-greet sector. An overview of the platforms and the money they have raised is provided below.

Cameo

  • Cameo is a platform where users pay celebrities to make personalized video messages that was founded in 2017.
  • The platform is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.
  • The cost per video ranges from $25 to $2,500​.
  • Cameo closed $50 million in a Series B round, bringing its total venture backing to at least $65.2 million, and a valuation of $300 million, post-money.
  • The company currently has 18,000 celebrities in its network, who have produced more than 300,000 videos.​
  • The platform has 4,874 musicians in its network including singers, DJs, country musicians, and more.
  • Celebrities on the platform include Snoop Dogg who is also an investor.

Memmo

  • Memmo is a platform where you can book personalized video messages from famous sports stars, actors, comedians and other celebrities. Memmo was founded in 2019 in Sweden and is planning to expand to the greater Nordics region.
  • The platform raised €2 million ($2.3 million) from a number of investors including U.S.-based Luxor Capital.
  • Memmo has enrolled over 800 local Swedish celebrities, who have sent more than 7,000 videos to their fans and followers.
  • The celebrities include musicians, drummers, and guitarists, whose videos cost as low as $10.​

Wysh

Greetly

  • Greetly is a visitor management system that seeks to eliminate administrivia in modern organizations.
  • The platform was founded in 2015 in Denver, United states.
  • Greetly has two angel investors namely Spencer Lee and Dave Milliken. The platform has not conducted any funding round.
  • Greetly is used in various industries including creative services, finance, technology, staffing agencies, government, and coworking.
  • Some of the app’s popular clients include DHL, the US Airforce, office Evolution, Randstad, and Dallas Cowboys.

CelebVM

  • CelebVM is a platform where fans and celebrities connect through video messages in a fun way.
  • The Bristol City-headquartered platform was founded by Angus Lancaster in 2013. CelebVM by over 600 celebrities with over 137 musicians in its network including classical violinists, drummers, song writers, DJs, and pop stars.
  • CelebVM is unfunded.
  • CelebVM hosts many celebrities from different fields such as wrestling, acting, music, and sports, among others.
  • Among the notable singers selling videos on the platform include Paul Marazzi, Jay Aston, Faydee, and Ben Adams.

Starsona

  • Starsona helps people connect one-on-one with stars in a manner that is time efficient and safe. Fans can buy video greetings, Q&As, and announcements from their favorite stars.
  • The platform was founded in 2017 in San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley.
  • Starsona is funded by three angel investors namely Rob Doornink, Rick Altinger, and Matthew Dellaved.
  • The funding amount from the seed funding round in September 23, 2019, was not disclosed.
  • Starsona has over 200 celebrities with Randy Hahn being the most popular booked influencer.
  • The platform hosts numerous celebrity musicians such as Da Brat and DJ Drama who sell videos. Starsona also hosts other players in the music industry such as promoters, composers, songwriters, and record producers.

Omaze

  • Omaze is an online fundraising platform that provides participants with a unique experience such as meeting their favorite celebrity after donating. Participants can also win exclusive merchandise.
  • The Los-Angeles-headquartered platform was founded in 2012 by Matt Pohlson and Ryan Cummins.
  • The platform has raised $12 million after five funding rounds. Series B was the last funding round announce on March 19, 2019.
  • Omaze has exclusive access to A-list celebrities in various fields ranging from famous Hollywood actors to musicians.
  • John Legend is one of the celebrity musicians on the platform. Winners are given an opportunity to listen to their favorite singers’ music in a special way.
  • The global personalized gifts market size is expected to reach $31.63 billion by 2021, and is growing at a CAGR of 9% during the period, 2019-2023.

Digital Celebrity Meet-and-Greet Platforms Market Size

Three additional digital celebrity meet-and-greet/celebrity video messaging platforms that enable fans to communicate directly over video chats with their favorite celebrities are Fanmio (US-based), Looped (US-based), and VLive (South Korea-based). While VLive was launched in August 2015 and has been a huge success (looking at the number of followers on social media) in getting fans to interact directly with K-pop stars, both Fanmio and Looped were launched in 2019 and are fairly new in the celebrity video messaging platform market. Presented below are brief overviews of these three online platforms.

Fanmio

  • Fanmio allows celebrities with fan following to create their own Fanmio account and use the platform to connect with their fans, by filling up this online talent form.
  • Fanmio's digital infrastructure is powered by its patented technology that allows celebrities to easily engage in online video chats with fans. The online platform enables millions of viewers to join the live online event at the same time without any additional infrastructure scaling.
  • Fanmio has a wide online presence on social media. Fanmio's Facebook page currently has 4,859 followers. Its Twitter page has 551 followers, its Instagram page has 5,372 followers, and its LinkedIn page has 161 followers.
  • So far, Fanmio has featured celebrities like Tim Curry, John Cleese, Ashley Greene, Khary Payton, and Tara Strong. Fanmio is set to feature the boxing champion, Floyd Mayweather, in a live event on July 11, 2020.
  • Among musicians, Fanmio is set to hold a live event with the popular rapper and hip hop icon Joseph Antonio Cartagena, better identified by his stage name of Fat Joe, on July 13, 2020. Fans can access the event through two packages. The silver package costs $149.99 and will feature a live one-on-one video chat with the musician along with a downloadable HD video recording of the chat in a Fat Joe digital frame. The gold package costs $199.99 and will feature an autographed photo of Fat Joe along with the live video chat and HD video recording of the chat.

Looped

  • ​Looped is an online platform where fans can have live one-on-one video chats with their favorite celebrities that include musicians, athletes, actors, politicians, gamers, and social media influencers, among others.
  • Looped is backed by an executive leadership team and advisors from top entertainment, media, and technology companies who have worked with popular musicians and music bands like Britney Spears, Beyonce, Steven Tyler, Julian Lennon, Aerosmith, and Paradigm, and companies like Google, McKinsey, Uber, Turner Media, Universal Music Group, and Live Nation. The online platform is maintained by an engineering team featuring talent formerly associated with Google, Facebook, and Perpetua Labs.
  • Looped also allows celebrities to connect with their fans, give them ticket codes with special discounts through emails and social media, run contests, encourage donations to charities, build brand alliance by giving fans the brand's logo, and sell the video chats to have a year-round revenue stream.
  • The Looped app is available on the Apple App Store (rated 4.8 out of 5 by 408 users) and Google Playstore (10,000+ downloads, rated 4.1 out of 5 by 95 users).
  • Looped has a wide online presence on social media. Its Facebook page currently has 656 followers, and its Twitter page has 679 followers.
  • So far, Looped has featured musicians and music bands like Cheat Codes, KT Tunstall, Harry Hudson, Martin Alexander Aiono, Aaron Watson, AJ Maclean, and many others. The full line-up of musicians featured on Looped can be accessed by visiting this link.
  • The following musicians are set to feature in the upcoming events on Looped: Suzie McNeil and Andrew Mactaggart (on June 18, 2020), Elisha Hoffman and Rebecca Lynn Howard (on June 18, 2020), Marti Frederiksen (on June 18, 2020), Sarah Tomek (on June 18, 2020), Tyler Rich (on June 22, 2020), and Charles Edgar Walker Hayes (on June 23, 2020).

VLive

  • ​VLive is a South Korean live video streaming platform that enables fans to watch live performances of their favorite K-pop stars, have live video chats with them, and purchase online merchandise related to their favorite celebrities.
  • VLive was launched by the Naver Corporation on August 2015, in partnership with South Korea's top talent and entertainment agencies like YG Entertainment and SM Entertainment Co. Ltd. The current financial condition of Naver Corporation can be viewed by accessing this link.
  • The VLive platform was launched to attract viewers in countries like China, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, in which K-pop is popular. The VLive interface has several language options like English, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Thai, and Spanish.
  • VLive's interface makes it easy for fans to follow their favorite musicians and celebrities. Fans are alerted by the app when the celebrities they follow upload new content or start live streaming. Fans can then directly interact in real-time with the stars, and send comments and virtual hearts to show their appreciation.
  • Fans can also support their stars by joining Fanship, a premium channel within the VLive platform. They can also purchase downloadable merchandise like high-quality videos from VLive+, online stickers, and lightsticks, using their accumulated V points. The Beyond Live feature has 118,618 followers and enables fans to post comments and video chat with celebrities when they are not performing.
  • The VLive app is available on the Apple App Store (rated 4.3 out of 5 by 6,251 users) and Google Playstore (50 million+ downloads, rated 4.6 out of 5 by 666,767 users).
  • VLive has a wide online presence on social media. Its Facebook page currently has 1,701,225 followers, and its Twitter page has more than 4 million followers.
  • Currently, VLive features 1,332 different channels associated with different K-pop stars on its website and app. Top K-pop music bands and musicians like BTS, EXO, Blackpink, Twice, Big Bang, and iKon, among several others, are regular features of VLive. The full list of musicians and music bands that perform on VLive can be viewed by accessing this link. The list of upcoming performances by the featured celebrities can be viewed by accessing this link.

Research Strategy

Since the initial research had already covered the platforms Cameo, Memmo, and Wysh, we started by searching for additional digital celebrity meet-and-greet platforms that have a wide focus on musicians and music bands. We found three such platforms: Fanmio, Looped, and VLive. While VLive and Looped have already focused extensively on musicians, looking at their roster and channels associated with them, Fanmio has started venturing into the music industry, going by its scheduled live event with the popular hip hop star Fat Joe on July 13, 2020. While we were able to uncover all other required information, we could not get any information regarding their funding on the public domain. Fanmio has an annual revenue of only $3 million, which indicates that the company has not yet received any funding. Looped was launched on October 15, 2019, which indicates that the company has not yet achieved an annual revenue. The company has also not published any information regarding any investors or funding. VLive is owned by Naver Corporation, a private company in South Korea, hence there is no information regarding any external investor funding.

Insights on the Public Sentiment Towards Digital Celebrity Meet-and-Greet/Celebrity Video Messaging Platforms

Two insights on the public sentiment towards digital celebrity meet-and-greet/celebrity video messaging platforms relate to the increase in the use of these platforms during the COVID-19 lockdown and people from small towns and cities more eager to connect with their favorite celebrities using these platforms. These insights along with suitable examples are discussed below.

Increase in the Use of Celebrity Video Messaging Platforms During the COVID-19 Lockdown.

  • With the COVID-19 lockdown forcing people to stay indoors, celebrity video messaging platforms have seen a huge surge in traffic during the lockdown period as more people are turning to these platforms for comfort and entertainment.
  • While some celebrities joined these video messaging platforms to quell their boredom from the COVID-19 lockdown and social distancing measures, other celebrities joined to raise money for charities fighting against the pandemic. With the advent of their favorite celebrities joining these platforms, the traffic from fans and requests for personalized video messages has gone up.
  • Cameo, the online celebrity video messaging platform, reported a 400% increase in its revenue in April 2020 compared to March 2020. As per Cameo CEO Steven Galanis, the start-up expects to rake in more than $100 million in bookings in 2020, and is closing in on sending its one-millionth personalized celebrity shoutout video.
  • Consumers have used these platforms for sending birthday wishes when they could not celebrate the occasion in person. Using these platforms, couples have notified invitees about the postponement of their weddings, and high schools and colleges have sent virtual graduation messages to their students.
  • However, celebrities have also faced public backlash when the cost of connecting with them over these video messaging platforms has been deemed to be too high by the paying public. A case in point is the public criticism faced by the actress Tori Spelling in April 2020 when she asked fans to pay $95 each for an online meet-and-greet session with her over the digital platform Looped. While some fans stated that she was trying to make money from the COVID-19 pandemic, others asked her to do the session for free. She was later defended by her husband Dean McDermott.

People From Small Towns and Cities More Eager to Connect With Celebrities

  • Personalized celebrity video messaging platforms are a great way for people living in small towns and cities to directly connect with their favorite celebrities, as fans living in these towns and cities hardly get the chance that their counterparts living in metros and big cities get.
  • According to Akshay Saini, co-founder of Tring, a start-up in India, almost 75-80% of the personalized video messaging requests obtained by the company come from small towns and cities, like Lucknow, Surat, Rajkot, Kochi, and Patna. These places are far away from the metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Delhi, where most of the celebrities are based.
  • As per data obtained from Indian start-ups like Wysh, Tring, YoShot, and Celebrity, college-goers, housewives, and teenagers from small towns and cities drive the bulk of the demand received by these companies.
  • Starting from as little as INR 500, fans can directly interact with their favorite celebrities like TV actors, singers, social media influencers, sportspersons, and even Bollywood stars, and make their special occasion memorable. These not only go in marking lifetime memories for fans but also drive the engagement between celebrities and their fans.
  • As per Mahesh Gogineni, CEO of Wysh, personalized video messages and direct interaction with celebrities are a new form of gifting.

Research Strategy

For this research, we searched online media publications like the Insider, The New York Times, The Washington Post, among others. We also searched for relevant blogs and articles concerning this industry and third-party reports from major houses like PwC, Deloitte, and BCG, among others. However, there is not much current information about the public sentiment regarding celebrity video messaging platforms other than the fact that there has been a spike in its use owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. We also found a few articles from India that state that people from small towns and cities are using these platforms more than the people from metros and big cities. A reason for the lack of information might be that digital meet-and-greet platforms are relatively new and most are start-ups, hence there is not much insight or data that has been gathered from the public about their opinion on these platforms.
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Go To Market Strategies (1)

The go-to-market strategies used by some celebrity meet-and-greet platforms such as Cameo, Memmo, and Wysh include customer referral programs, easy market adaption by using their own local language, and promotional offerings for video messages especially made for special occasions. These and other details are presented below.

Cameo

  • Cameo is a marketplace, headquartered in Chicago, that gives fans the opportunity to book personalized video shout-outs recorded by their favorite talents called Cameo videos.
  • It has a mobile app for iOS that lets fans (US residents only) use "CAMEO credits". These credits can be purchased, stored in the CAMEO App wallet, and be used when booking for talents.
  • Cameo gives all requests 7 days to expire as talents have the right to accept or decline requests.
  • Cameo is also increasing its reach through its Customer Referral Program that gives $5 earnings to those who referred family members or friends that eventually purchased a Cameo video worth at least $10.
  • Aside from personal Cameo videos, it also offers Promotional Cameo videos used in promoting a product, organization, or company either on the company's website or its social media accounts for 3 months.
  • Cameo's Facebook account currently has 33,117 followers, while its Instagram account has 171,000 followers. With these numbers, it is safe to say that Cameo can best focus on Instagram to increase its audience base.
  • To convince big talents to sign-up, it employs a revenue-sharing model wherein it gets a 25% cut on the video amount, while the rest goes to the talent.
  • Of Cameo's bookings, 30% comes from fans outside the United States. Musicians and comedians appear to be more successful on the platform, according to its co-founder and CEO Steven Galanis. Therefore, the company is targeting to expand through finding these talents' US-counterparts in Canada, Australia, the UK, and Mexico.
  • These strategies contributed to Cameo's current position since it was founded in 2017. As of March 2020, its customers have already purchased about 560,000 videos from 20,000 celebrities and talents. Its employee size also increased from 20 to 125.

Memmo

  • It is a marketplace that offers personalized experiences to fans and followers of famous personas from different businesses communicated through personal videos called "memmos".
  • As a "profile" or the creators of the videos, an introductory video will be made in the Memmo app and placed on a personal Memmo page. Customers can choose from these profiles and bookings will remain active for 7 days. Customers can also purchase memmos on behalf of their companies.
  • At Memmo, more than 80% of the memmos are booked and ordered by the relatives of the fans. It serves as a unique type of gift fans would receive.
  • Prices were set by profiles according to their availability and therefore constantly changes.
  • Memmo's Facebook account currently has 846 followers, while its Instagram account has 1,854 followers. Having more followers on Instagram, Memmo can best focus on Instagram to increase its audience base.
  • According to Memmo's CEO Lundberg Toreson, he saw this type of marketplace as a trend in the US and thinks that this platform will work well in Europe as they will adapt to their market using their own languages.
  • As Swedish celebrities are also popular in Finland, Memmo recently entered its market as its "natural extension". It also targeted Germany because of its mature and huge market potential.
  • As of April 2020, 800 celebrities (mostly Swedish) have signed-on to Memmo and have produced more than 5,000 videos, from birthday messages to marriage proposals.

Wysh

  • Wysh is a two-way engagement platform launched in December 2019 in India. It connects fans with their favorite celebrities through personalized video messages called "wysh".
  • Wysh's Facebook account currently has 2,732 followers, while its Instagram account has 5,889 followers. Having more followers on Instagram, Wysh can best focus on Instagram to increase its audience base.
  • It posts promotions both on these accounts to attract users to send personalized video messages. On this coming Father's Day, Wysh offers a 30% discount for users who will request and send their first wysh.
  • The Wysh App already has more than 100,000 downloads.
  • So far, the platform has about 50 celebrities like social media influencers, TV personalities, athletes, singers, bloggers, and Bollywood stars. These celebrities are from North and South India.
  • Statements from Gogineni, however, does not indicate any upcoming plans of expanding its reach internationally, but he stated the company's plan of expanding its celebrity base across several other categories that they do not yet cover across other regions in India.
  • Wysh has raised $2 million in Series A funding round. Through this funding, the company plans to strengthen its marketing strategy first by enhancing its technology, team expansion, and adding more celebrities on the platform.
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Part
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Go To Market Strategies (2)

Greetly, CelebVM, and Starsona have different go-to-market strategies. While they have not explicitly shared their go-to-market strategies, the strategies they have used to launch their companies and their services offer some helpful insights.

Greetly

  • While Greetly has not directly shared its go-to-market strategy, a few clues about its go-to-market strategy can be gathered from its website and social media posts and a news article about the time it launched as a company.
  • Greetly, incidentally, is not a celebrity meet-and-greet platform but a visitor management platform. What Greetly offers is a digital receptionist app that visitors of businesses can use to check themselves in the office. It is designed to help businesses save time and money.
  • According to Crunchbase, Greetly was launched in 2015. In 2015, it was reported that while Greetly launched in New York, it had pilot clients from different parts of the world, including California and Australia. This suggests that Greetly did not limit itself to just one geographic area when it started.
  • It appears that when Greetly launched, it initially targeted technology and professional service offices. When asked at the time about how big its target market was, Greetly responded that there were 17 million such offices in the United States. Greetly now serves the following industries: finance, staffing agencies, technology, government, creative services, and coworking.
  • At the time, Greetly also said that it was employing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model where clients were charged a monthly fee of $49 to $199 depending on the number of their host employees. It is not clear if Greetly offered a free trial before, but at present, the company offers a free trial for each of the following three plans: Essential ($79 per location per month), Pro ($119 per location per month), and Enterprise ($350 per location per month).
  • Greetly launched in New York because the company believes it is “the best place on earth to sell enterprise products.” To gain exposure to functional experts, it participated in the JFE Accelerator in New York.
  • Greetly had been posting about its product on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube before it launched in 2015 and before it started posting on LinkedIn. The company had social media posts as early as September 2014.
  • Its posts were about the following topics: office reception area etiquette, the relationship between office environment and employee productivity, and the Greetly visitor management system. These posts suggest that Greetly has positioned itself as a tool that businesses can use to save time and money, help employees become more productive, and provide visitors with a consistent, seamless, and pleasant experience checking in the office.
  • Greetly runs ads across Facebook platforms to create brand awareness.

CelebVM

  • CelebVM has not directly shared its go-to-market strategy and there was no media coverage of its launch as a company, but a few clues about its go-to-market strategy can be gathered from CelebVM’s social media posts and a recently published news article about CelebVM and other celebrity-on-demand platforms.
  • According to Crunchbase, CelebVM was launched in 2013. CelebVM offers a platform through which fans can request personalized video messages from their beloved celebrities for a fee. Fees vary from one celebrity to another and typically fall within the £20 to £30 range.
  • It appears that when CelebVM launched, it focused mostly on the British market. The celebrities on CelebVM’s books are mostly British. They include John Challis of Only Fools and Horses, Big Keith of UK Office, Paul Cattermole of S Club 7, and celebrities from The Real Housewives of Cheshire, Towie, and Right Said Fred.
  • It also appears that in achieving success, CelebVM relied largely on its celebrities’ networks. According to Angus Lancaster, founder of CelebVM, “it’s not the platforms that have got the power, it’s the celebrities and their social media.” CelebVM positioned itself as more of a facilitator.
  • An examination of CelebVM’s earliest social media posts also reveals that CelebVM initially chose to post on Facebook but eventually decided to post on Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram as well.
  • While CelebVM runs ads across Facebook platforms, it mainly uses social media platforms to share samples of video messages that celebrities on its roster have prepared.
  • CelebVM also markets itself to celebrities as a way for them to raise both awareness and money for their preferred causes.

Starsona

  • Starsona has not directly shared its go-to-market strategy and there was no media coverage of its launch as a company, but a few clues about its go-to-market strategy can be gathered from its website and social media posts, and news articles about its launch of new services.
  • According to Crunchbase, Starsona was founded in 2017. Starsona differentiates itself from CelebVM and other celebrity meet-and-greet platforms by offering more than just video messages.
  • Apart from personalized video shoutouts, it offers other ways for fans to connect with their beloved celebrities. It offers personalized event invitations, Q&A, social media interactions, social media promotions, personalized merchandise, and commercial video shoutouts.
  • Starsona positions itself as a safe and efficient way for stars to connect with their fans, create joy, earn while doing so, and support their chosen charities. Fees range from $5 to $3,500.
  • When it launched in early 2018, it had no public relations campaign. It did not discuss the startup nor the product with the media.
  • The team wanted to focus on developing the best product possible. For some time, it operated in stealth mode and met with stars to discuss the product. Through these meetings, the team learned that stars are receptive to their idea especially when given the chance to support their chosen charities.
  • It appears that as far as networking is concerned, the cofounders of Starsona started with their respective states of residence. Cofounder Randy Kessler, a prominent divorce lawyer in Atlanta, was able to recruit a number of athletes from Atlanta. Retired boxer Evander Holyfield is one of these athletes.
  • Starsona has an account on Facebook, Twitter, LInkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube, and mainly uses these accounts to highlight its stars, introduce and market its services, and run ads.
Part
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Part
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Go To Market Strategies (3)

A go-to-market strategy, which is how organizations use their resources to convince customers of their value and compete against similar companies, plays a key role in how successful companies are in their markets. For celebrity meet-and-greet platforms, these strategies differ. Omaze orients itself as a socially conscious way to interact with celebrities, focusing on storytelling video content. Fanmio bundles exclusive merchandise with its one-on-one video call packages, promoting itself as a way to overcome geographical distance from fans' celebrity heroes. Looped stresses "real connections" through low-key personal video interactions that bring fans and celebrities into each other's spaces. Finally, V Live promotes itself as the "best way to meet K-pop stars," creating a stable live-streaming platform for groups such as the worldwide phenomenon BTS.

Omaze

  • Omaze is a platform that crowdsources funds for charities by offering the chance to win celebrity meet-and-greet experiences to those who donate to different campaigns. Omaze handles the marketing of the campaign and gets a portion of the proceeds.
  • Social Media Today says Omaze uses "great storytelling, targeted marketing, exceptional experiences, and true social innovation."
  • It seems Omaze's PR team aims to position the company as socially conscious, focused on "giving back to local communities and inspiring others to have dream experiences."
  • The creators of Omaze say they share a passion for "cause content," or storytelling centered around both entertainment and social awareness.
  • Omaze primarily markets its sweepstakes through videos made by its 34-person marketing team. These videos both highlight the charity itself and use influencers like celebrities to promote them.
  • Omaze specifically mentions "Instagram ads" on its website, implying it relies on paid Instagram advertising in its marketing strategy.
  • According to the Omaze creators, the celebrities involved in their experiences or marketing videos are often either already partners with the involved charity, or they reach out to Omaze due to their passion for the cause the campaign is addressing.
  • The Omaze creators rely on the power of film to market these campaigns because "human beings are naturally empathetic and predisposed to help, so if a well-done piece can offer someone a window into what it's like to be a veteran undergoing the challenges of returning home, or a child with limited access to educational opportunities and give them the tools to help, people will help."
  • Forbes says part of Omaze's success is due to its unique approach to the celebrity experience: "Instead of the standard backstage meet-and-greet or set tour, they instead have come up with some truly inspired lunacy: crush things in a tank with Arnold Schwarzenegger, go wine tasting with Jennifer Lawrence, or have John Legend sing at your wedding."
  • In Forbes' analysis of Omaze's marketing strategy, they conclude that Omaze is marketing towards Millennials and Gen Z, as they are offering "authentic, unique experiences that money cannot buy."
  • Omaze creator Matt Pohlson said the company is following several trends to market its sweepstakes: "The growing spirit of giving, the rise of the experience economy, increase in demand for western culture in emerging markets, and the ever-increasing ability for influencers to reach their audiences are all fueling our growth."
  • While the United States has long been the hub of using "celebrity culture to drive social impact," Omaze is also tapping into international potential, with donors from 180 countries and the involvement of overseas celebrities and charities like Emilia Clarke and the Royal College of Nursing in the U.K, a campaign which raised over $1 million.

Fanmio

  • Fanmio is a platform that allows fans to connect with celebrities through "one-on-one video meet-and-greet experiences" and gain access to exclusive merchandise by purchasing these celebrity encounter packages.
  • Fanmio's objective is to make celebrities more accessible to their fans by removing barriers like expensive travel, prohibitive meet-and-greet costs, and waiting in lines.
  • Geography is one of the barriers Fanmio aims to remove, marketing their experiences globally; as new partner Floyd Mayweather said in his Fanmio promo video, "Now here’s your chance to meet me, no matter where you at around the world."
  • Part of Fanmio's PR positioning seems to be aimed at the company being fun and "obsessed with happiness," wanting to give everyone a chance to meet their hero.
  • Another facet of Fanmio's marketing strategy is the idea of exclusivity. Fans are not only offered the exclusivity of one-on-one video chats with celebrities, but they are also given the chance to purchase exclusive signed merchandise.
  • Fanmio's most successful social media platform is its YouTube page, where it shares promo videos for its celebrity encounters and compilations of the one-on-one meet-and-greets. Its most popular video, "Meet Tim Curry on Fanmio," has over 407,000 views.
  • Its second-most successful social media platform for promoting celebrity campaigns is its Instagram page, where its video posts seem to get more engagement than its photo posts. Its video posts usually receive views in the low to mid thousands, with its Floyd Mayweather post on April 20 receiving 5,648 views.

Looped

  • Looped is an app that allows fans to video chat live with "musicians, actors, athletes, influencers, politicians, gamers, and more" anytime and anywhere.
  • Part of Looped's PR positioning seems to be the concept of human connection and the promise that their "product" will lead to fans creating "real connections" with the talent.
  • Looped's marketing aims to position the company as an answer to social media's one-sided, fake view of celebrity culture by bringing fans "very personal" interactions where both fans and celebrities can "bring each other into their worlds in a way that otherwise wouldn’t be possible."
  • Co-founder and CEO Prajit Gopal said, "One celeb met this fan who was in his bedroom and saw artwork, pets, his family, and all this cool stuff that wouldn’t be able to happen in a physical space. There are advantages to doing it anytime, anywhere.
  • Looped says that their customers—the fans and the talent—are "constantly pushing the boundaries" of what to do with the app, suggesting they rely on how others use the app to guide how it is used and promoted.
  • Looped lists a few ways talent can use the app to engage with their fans, including "building loyalty" by offering exclusive ticket codes to super-fans, running contests that incentivize social media shares with a Looped video as the prize, adding a Looped video to a ticket or merch bundle, using the video to raise money for charity, or selling Looped video chats for a "year-round revenue stream."
  • Looped's most popular social media platform is Instagram, where it has 4,742 followers. Its video posts seem to generate more engagement than its photos, with its most popular video, a duet between Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean and a fan from a recorded video chat, garnering 48,138 views.

V Live

  • V Live is a platform where celebrities can stream live videos and interact with fans through live chats, as well as offer premium channels accessed through memberships.
  • The top five channels on V Live are for Korean pop groups BTS (over 20 million V Live followers), EXO (over 9 million followers), Blackpink (over 8 million followers on their public page and a second premium channel in the top five), and Got7 (over 7 million followers), suggesting the platform targets Asian countries like South Korea, where the platform originated and K-pop is statistically more popular.
  • They market themselves as the "best way to meet K-pop stars."
  • According to Alexa's analysis, 21 percent of V Live's audience is from South Korea, and 17.7 percent are from Indonesia.
  • Han Ah-reum, the head of the business department at V Live, explains that celebrities can leverage different content for different platforms, ensuring fans are engaged across multiple sites: “For instance, BTS has their own clear platform strategy. They make Twitter-only content for Twitter, the same for YouTube, while 'Run BTS' is exclusively uploaded on V Live.”
  • The Korea Herald has credited part of BTS' success to social media and streaming on V Live, where "the bandmates came across as much more personal, down-to-earth and sincere" and they were able to bring their "followers one step closer to the life of the stars."
  • On social media, V Live seems to garner the most engagement on posts through Instagram and Twitter.
  • On Instagram, they have one million followers, and their most recent post has 24,975 likes.
  • On Twitter, they have four million followers, and their most recent post has over 37,100 likes.

Research Strategy

To find go-to-market strategies for Omaze, Fanmio, Looped, and V Live—focusing on how they face themselves to the public, what social media accounts they focus on, and their geographical targets—we researched the company websites, news articles, press releases, and web analysis sites. Omaze, as the oldest and most established site, founded in 2012, had the most information publicly available about its marketing and PR strategy as put forward by its creators. For the other sites, such as Fanmio and Looped, we included analysis of their marketing based on their websites and social media pages when direct strategy statements were unavailable.
Sources
Sources

From Part 01
From Part 02
From Part 04