Arsenio Didn't Go Viral, but Could Have. Here's How.

Host/executive producer Arsenio Hall participates in the "The Arsenio Hall Show" panel at the 2013 CBS Summer TCA Press Tour
Host/executive producer Arsenio Hall participates in the "The Arsenio Hall Show" panel at the 2013 CBS Summer TCA Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Monday, July 29, 2013 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP)

You might have heard, Arsenio Hall launched a crowdfunding project on IndieGoGo to raise $1B (yup, that's one billion dollars) to buy the Los Angeles Clippers from the infamous Donald Sterling.

The campaign, of course, is a clever marketing strategy to promote his show, and if the crowdfunding goal is not met any money raised will be donated to the NAACP (a great cause).

So, why hasn't the campaign raised more money? And why hasn't the stunt gone viral (in the last 8 days that the video has been on Youtube it's had a mere 4,000 views)?

This campaign is very clever and has a lot of potential. So what could Hall's team have done differently to make it a bigger success? (There are 34 days left, but most crowdfunding campaigns have to launch with a big bang to gain momentum, as interest wanes quickly).


Design can never be underestimated. While this campaign was created to be cheesy and tongue-and-cheek, everything from the layout of the page to the video could have had a better aesthetic.

In fact, with all the video production talent available to Hall, he could have cleverly mocked the ubiquitous sleek, serious, tech-y, dreamy and hip startup and crowdfunding videos out there-a joke that would have resonated with a lot of people and could have gone viral in its own right.


While donating the funds to a cause is a great way to wrap up the project, Hall should have done two things.

He should have made it clear in the video and on the page that even if he raised the entire $1B, it would all be donated to the NAACP. As it stands the project page notes that if the goal isn't met the money raised will be donated. You might say, well it's obvious he won't raise a billion dollars. But don't forget, we are a land of American Dreamers. Nothing is impossible to us. So even if subconscious, we think there is a chance of reaching the goal -- and Arsenio Hall is wealthy enough that we don't want to give our hard-earned cash to him personally.

In addition, Hall should have aligned himself more closely with the NAACP and launched this crowdfunding project with their support, having them engage their community to donate via IndieGoGo. It would have been a bigger success for him and it would have helped raise more money for them.


The perks (gifts) offered are a little skewed. For a campaign like this, if you consider your success metric to be engagement (and you should), the goal should be to have as many donors as possible and not necessarily to raise a ton of money (that's the secondary goal). Chances are, each person who donates will be more engaged with the campaign, from checking back and watching the show to sharing that they donated via social media and using the #ClipGoGO hashtag.

The best way to achieve this is to offer a very low barrier of entry to donors of $1-$5 and keep the majority of the donation level and prizes between that and $150. For $25 Hall could have offered signed photos. For $150 he could have offered a 10-minute Google Hangout (including 8 donors in each session to decrease the number of Hangouts).


If anything, Hall and the NAACP have great access to star power. Asking their famous friends to donate money and socially share that they have done so makes a huge difference in helping gain traction. Additionally, famous friends could have made cameos in the video and even been included in the prizing. And with a little bit of investment, Hall's team could have even partnered with the great Funny or Die to help the video catch fire.

Overall, this is a fantastic marketing strategy with great potential to go viral. But, it was not executed well. Then again, there's still time. 34 days and counting.