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“Electricity:" Generating More Support for the Web’s Favorite Geek

Challenge

In 2012, engineer Wil Cashen and screenwriter Carole Bourgeois – longtime fans and scholars of Serbian-American inventor and geek poster boy Nikola Tesla – turned to the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter to raise the initial capital to finance a docudrama about Tesla called Electricity. The idea may have tapped a little too much into the zeitgeist: shortly after the team announced their Kickstarter campaign, The Oatmeal’s Matt Inman rallied the Internet to another online crowdfunding effort, the IndieGoGo campaign to build a Tesla museum at one of his old laboratories in New York. This presented a possibility to ride the wave of a Tesla resurgence, but the team had to proceed with caution, targeting both press that felt like the story didn’t begin and end with The Oatmeal’s campaign and, on social media, individual donors who were willing to go above and beyond what they had already given to the splashy and viral IndieGoGo effort.


Solution

Targeted a wide swath of verticals that would be the most likely to respond to and find the potential production of a Tesla docudrama a fresh angle on the summer 2012 “Tesla craze,” from electric car enthusiasts to science fiction fanboys and fangirls attracted to the otherworldly aspects of Tesla’s story.

Identified fans of the Tesla IndieGoGo project on both Twitter and in the blogosphere to leverage additional momentum and traffic.

Worked with the Tesla Kickstarter team to develop fresh and exclusive content about the project that would be most appealing to the media, including a bylined guest article in The Huffington Post.


Results
  • The Tesla film and its creators were featured in WIRED, Gawker Media’s science fiction and geek blog io9, TechCrunch, AOL’s Autoblog, The Huffington Post, and The Daily Dot, among many other popular online outlets.
  • With the project fewer than 24 hours away from its goal, the SocialRadius team placed a Saturday feature in Mashable about the project that itself generated nearly 2,000 tweets and peak web traffic for the Kickstarter page.
  • The makers of “Electricity” indeed changed history, surpassing their $35,000 goal by $10,000.