from the neato dept
A little over two years ago, we wrote about singer Marian Call and the fact that she did a bunch of experiments that helped her connect with fans and give them a reason to buy. As we noted, what she demonstrated is that it takes a lot of experiments to figure out what “works” for a particular creator and their fans. Some ideas will fail, and some will succeed. Since that time, I’ve checked in here and there on her career and it seems to be going great. I’d missed, however, that she launched a Kickstarter campaign last month, and thankfully Aaron deOliveira clued me in, thanks to a blogpost on Popehat about Marian Call’s Kickstarter campaign, which has a few really cool features. So many artists are doing Kickstarter campaigns these days, that there’s usually not that much to write about with them. But Marian (not surprisingly, given her willingness to test out “crazy” ideas, decided to take things a bit further with Kickstarter, and turn it into even more of a game than it normally is.
That is, she created Marian Call’s European Adventure Quest, in which she effectively “gamified” Kickstarter, such that the more she earned, the more levels would be “unlocked.” The main idea was that she would tour Europe and record a live album, but the more she raised, the more places she would visit and the more cover songs she would do (she usually does originals, but people have requested covers, and she was worried about the licensing fees if she didn’t raise money in support). She’s even got some nice retro video game graphics to show her progress:
One of the things we get concerned about, at times, is that people get so focused on how others have been successful with things like Kickstarter that they stop being additionally creative on their own and merely copy others’ projects. But Marian is showing how you can continue to be creative above and beyond the basics of Kickstarter, and do so in way that is fun and better connects you with fans (while also getting those fans to support you in a big way). It’s always great to see these kinds of inspiring examples.