Today (13 July) saw a rotund orange pocket of air fly above London’s Parliament Square in protest of Donald Trump’s visit to the UK. The huge media interest in the event has proven that crowdfunding a creative idea can not only work but can build a solid brand for the project in the process.
The six-metre-high balloon was devised by a group of friends looking to bruise Trump’s ego with an airborne, small-handed caricature of the president. Instead of taking the idea to an agency or investing their own capital, they raised the funds for the project through Crowdfunder, a platform backed by Mother’s incubator, Broody.
“We wanted it to be accessible to people,” said Daniel Jones, a charity worker who joined the project and became a ‘Trump babysitter’. “We knew it would have a lot of support from around the world and that people would want to be involved, and crowdfunding was one of the great ways to do it.”
Andy Medd, the co-founder of Broody, said #TrumpBaby represents exactly how crowdfunding can turn a social project into a brand in itself, or test a campaign along the metric of audience engagement.
“I think it’s a brilliant idea ... and it’s a classic piece of branding,” he said. “This is a modern way of connecting with an audience in a really engaged way. Crowdfunding ... is an amazing new way of lobbying, fundraising and brand building. It’s the new marketing tool.
“If a brand or a business can’t do a crowdfunding campaign then it’s probably got the wrong marketing strategy or the wrong targeting strategy.”
The group that devised #TrumpBaby have now raised enough money to create a smaller, second Trump to fly over tonight’s London protest. They also have plans to take the figure on a ‘world tour’, with itinerary planning beginning tomorrow (14 July).
The group is currently dubbed the Trump Babysitters but once this project is over, Jones said there will be “other moments” of protest that the team will use creativity to amplify. The beloved brand they built for #BabyTrump will no doubt encourage them to create a brand for themselves, too.