Ah yes, there’s nothing more authentic than a happy birthday message from a celebrity that someone is paying huge amounts of money to record a short video.
Basically, that’s the idea behind Cameo, a website and app that has become synonymous with selling famous faces on demand.
Shoppers can buy personalised videos from their favourite celebrities, although you’ll be coughing up a fair amount of dough if you want to get some of Hollywood’s bigger names.
Here’s the lowdown via WIRED:
Anyone can scroll through Cameo’s roster of 20,000 famous and semifamous people and request a video with specific guidelines (“It’s Carla’s 40th birthday and it would be great if you could sing to her”). The talent set their own rates and record a few seconds…
The company, which raised $50 million in venture capital this summer and takes 25 percent of every booking fee, sees itself as the future of the Hallmark greeting card…Cameo says it fulfills nearly 2,000 of these video requests every day.
The videos are designed to appear authentic even while the celebrities “perform” their identities, not unlike the way a generation has grown up enacting their “personal brands” on Snapchat and Instagram. On Cameo, that means you pay for the performance.
Let’s get a few prices out of the way…
Snoop Dogg – $3 000, when available:
Caitlyn Jenner – $2 500:
Charlie Sheen – $550:
Looks like the whole ‘Tiger Blood’ shtick has run its course when you compare that price to the two above.
You can browse through all of the celebs, sportspeople, influencers, and other categories here.
Here’s a little background on how it all came to be:
[CEO Steven] Galanis and his cofounder, Martin Blencowe, came up with the idea of selling celebrity communiqués in 2016, after reconnecting at Galanis’ grandmother’s funeral. Blencowe had been working as an NFL agent and film producer, hoping to find the next Rock. “He was repping all these guys who were more famous than they were rich,” Galanis says. “He had all of these big-personality guys, but he couldn’t find any companies to give them classic endorsement deals.”
Galanis [below], then a senior account executive for LinkedIn, wondered how it was possible that athletes today were more famous than ever before—a football player at Duke might have millions of Instagram followers even before he makes it to the pros—and yet couldn’t monetize that following. A discussion of fame ensued, which led to a realization that, as Galanis puts it, “selfies are the new autographs.” He imagined an Airbnb for celebrity attention.
At a New Year’s party, a friend finally leveled with Galanis. “Steven,” they asked, according to his retelling in Crain’s Chicago Business, “if somebody else takes this idea and becomes a billionaire and you’re still working at LinkedIn, could you live with yourself?” Two days later, he started the company.
There’s no time like the present, right?
OK, I’m doing it. Here are the influencers that charge the highest fees:
I am genuinely pleased to announce that I have heard of none of those people.
A reminder that you can speak with a range of South African celebrities, as well as ‘gurus’ like doctors, lawyers, business icons, tax experts, and more on TIMON, at a fraction of the price.
A three-minute voice chat with Jack Parow will cost you R200, or maybe you can fire some questions John Smit’s way, where a three-minute chat costs you R250.
If you want to chat with Jeannie D, you’re looking at R200 for three minutes.
Seth says happy birthday to you as well, free of charge, although you can pick his brain for R60 for a three-minute voice chat.
Alternatively, you can chat with any guru via text, in which case the same price will get you six minutes.
You get the drill – download TIMON here, and you can have a look around the list of gurus.
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