You’re a Marshmallow, Tiffannie Bond

I am a Kickstarter backer and a Marshmallow.

If you don’t know what either of those things are, you may not have heard of “Veronica Mars” or the Kickstarter campaign that revived the three-season-long series that went off the air seven years ago. You don’t know who killed Lilly Kane, or who really caused the bus crash. You don’t wonder where Duncan is now or how old his daughter would be now (11, actually). And you don’t miss Veronica, Logan, Mac or Wallace and don’t have an opinion about who the high school private eye-turned college student ended up with in the long run.

And none of that matters.

All you need to know is more than 91,000 fans raised millions of dollars in a matter of 30 days to bring back something they all collectively adored. And the creator of the world of Veronica Mars was creative enough a year ago to tread uncharted waters and actually fund a Hollywood, Warner Brothers-distributed movie with fan donations (see my previous blog about the campaign here).

A year after the campaign, the movie has been written, filmed, edited and ready for theatrical release, and I’m writing this to say that I don’t care how good or bad it is.

Over the last year, producers and the creator, Rob Thomas, have sent emails on the progress — from the writing of the script and cast announcements to the filming and recent red carpet premieres. The $50 I sent to back this campaign has been repaid — in the form of a T-shirt, digital download of the film the day it comes out in theaters and a PDF of the shooting script — tenfold. This turned out to be much more than just a success story about a Kickstarter campaign.

This is a story about how to treat donors, how to run a successful social media campaign and how to make people who already believed in your product, believe fervently.

It was a well-organized, well-thought out campaign that managed to make more than 91,000 people from across the world feel like they were a part of something bigger. I can’t imagine how the behind-the-scenes of this campaign looked, but from my seat, it was flawless. With ongoing news, surprises and gratitude dispensed like Slurpies in the summer, the producers kept us riveted about how OUR project was coming along.

Because I’m in the marketing industry, I can see the clinical side. I see the hard work, effort, technical figuring and time it took to keep all 91,585 backers happy and continually engaged. Actually, the sheer massiveness of it makes my head spin.

Because I’m a Kickstarter backer and a Marshmallow, I can appreciate the fan girl side. I will wear my T-shirt to the movie and argue with my friends over suspected endings, clearly calling on my 13-year-old self. And from both angles, the whole campaign was simply, wonderfully brilliant.

I’ll tell you how the movie is — not that it matters.

“You’re a marshmallow, Veronica Mars.”

Tiffannie Bond is a media relations specialist at Imagine Communications. Email Tiffannie at tbond@weareimagine.com.

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