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The Oddest Campaign Rewards in the History of Crowdfunding

Designing the rewards strategy for a reward-based crowdfunding campaign can make or break the whole endeavor. Creative videos and visuals along with engaging content can spark the interest of the supporters, but the key motivator to make a donation still stays the appealing of the rewards.

While most of the campaigners prefer to stick to the traditional options of offering logo stickers, T-shirts or signed copies of their book or album, many don’t like to play it safe and take the reward setting process to a whole new level.

Creative thinking is encouraged in the reward-setting process, yet strive to innovation beyond the ordinary can turn into a total disaster. Color laminated picture of the system components (INDURATUS), $100 pledge that offers “free” access to the app (Who is Dating My Daughter), and beautiful SalivaScanner embroidered hat (SalivaScaner) are not short jokes that a friend can tell you over drinks, but actual perks offered as a reward for supporting a crowdfunding project.

Obviously, the previous examples are a total disaster. Thinking creatively is something that is encouraged by crowdfunding campaign experts, but not to such a senseless level.

On the other hand, the history of crowdfunding remembers some great perk examples that are such a huge miss that turn in a way to a hit, like the following three.

Expressing gratitude with a tattoo!

Filmmaker Matt Porterfield had run a crowdfunding campaign to fund his third movie, I Used To Be Darker. Along with the common rewards of receiving limited edition postcards or the DVDs, the backers who wanted to pledge a $1,000 USD or more would get a special expression of gratitude from Matt – he would tattoo their initials on his arm in a font of his choice. The reward was limited to 4 backers. However, supporters who donated $10,000 would get their full names tattooed on Matt’s arm with a “Special Thanks, *full name*!

Receive a Mysterious Letter

Michael Crowe and Lenka Clayton launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund their idea of writing a personal, hand-written letter to every household in the world. The campaign itself is a bit odd, yet these two rewards are kind of funny:

“Pledge $24 or more – You will receive a unique hand-written postcard composed whilst we were sober, clear-headed and utterly focused on the task. Pledge $25 or more – You will receive a unique hand-scrawled postcard written while we were drunk, which we’ll regret horribly by the time it arrives.”

Name a Goat!

If you ever wanted to name a goat, but never had the chance to do so, you probably are very sorry now that you’ve missed your chance to do that by supporting the crowdfunding campaign of Build the Barn at Poplar Wood Farm that was run back in 2013.

The supporters of the campaign, who pledged $150 USD or more, were able to benefit from this awesome perk: “Name a Poplar Wood Farm 2013 baby goat (or kid in goat language). Along with naming rights, you will receive 2 email photo updates, an invite to the pole barn opening ceremony, and choice of organic cotton tee shirt or market bag.” Simply irresistible!

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