How Attention Hacking Generated Millions In Sales

Read Time: 6 minutes

The most funded project in KickStarter history: “The Coolest”

Kickstarter recently witnessed the largest, most successful campaign in the history of the company, which grossed over $13 million in sales. This campaign beat out Pebble E-Watch (way before the new Apple Watch came out) and the Veronica Mars feature-length film. So what is this thing that generated so much hype, excitement and funding? What is the product that’s so amazing? Well, it’s a cooler. Yup, that thing you put food and drinks in when you go camping.

So, how exactly did a cooler attract 62,642 backers, over 2 million YouTube Views, and generate $13,285,226 in sales in just a few weeks? You’re about to find out why this product is so AWESOME, and how to use the inventor’s Attention Hacks to take your endeavors to epic new heights.

It is important to understand that this campaign’s success didn’t happen right away. ​ It’s also worth nothing that this campaign was its creator’s second try. A year earlier this same product was launched, and it failed to get the minimum funding it needed within the allotted time. From the first launch to the second, the product did not change at all. The only thing that changed between failing to raise the minimum $125K and generating $13M was how they Attention Hacked.

Without going through their entire campaign strategy (which included strategic joint venture partnerships and major media outlets that brought in millions of people to their site), I’ll share with you six Jedi Attention Hacks that worked like magic in their promotional video.​ They didn’t use these Attention Hacks in their first video, and the difference is mind blowing!

Oh, by the way, at the end of the post I’d LOVE to hear what your favorite part of the video was, and which hacks you’ll use in your next video.

1: Make it fun

The first images (5 fun scenes in the first .08 seconds) are all about people having fun. Mom playing soccer with her children, people at a party laughing their heads off, a family picnic, and juicy hot dogs over a flaming hot BBQ. Within the most critical first few seconds, I’m already in ​ ‘party mode’ – feeling good and ready to continue. This is exactly the frame of mind you want your audience to be in when they first see your product.

2: Make Your Competition NOT FUN

Using one cold hard fact, Ryan (the creator) immediately made his competition NOT FUN and irrelevant. In one sentence he sold me immediately: “so why haven’t cooler designs changed in almost 50 years?”

3: Turn the Knife on your Competition

Ryan didn’t just make his competition (i.e every other cooler) NOT FUN, he ​ ‘turned the knife’ on them as well. What this means is that he made us feel just how painfully outdated every other cooler is:​ “Boring coolers are boring, break easily, and are a pain to get to-and-from your destination.”​ He emphasized in detail why the coolers we all use are just wrong: “Boring, break, and are a pain” are not generic phrases – them be fighting words!

So, don’t go easy on your alternative competition. Turn the knife and let your Tribe know why they’re actually NOT an alternative at all.

4: Use Inspiring Music… We’re All Suckers For It

5: Got Benefits? Talk About Every One Of Them In Detail

Have you heard of Apple? They taught me in great detail to appreciate a high-quality ​ ‘Retina’ display (had no idea what it was beforehand, now it’s crucial that every single one of my electronic devices has it), and all kinds of things a phone should do. Apple taught us not to ignore any detail of our product or service if it benefits our tribe, and Ryan made sure to let us know about every single benefit this ​ ‘Coolest’ will give us:

u221a The 18 Volt Rechargeable Blender: “You don’t realize how many places you can really go for a blended cocktail or smoothie until you have a blender built right into the lid.”

u221a Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker: “What’s a party without music? The Coolest comes with a removable bluetooth speaker that connects to any SmartPhone to wirelessly stream music from up to 30 feet away.”

u221a Waterproof USB Charger: “And since you’ve got that 18 Volt Battery for the blender, why not get the most out of it? Maybe your phone battery is low or you have an iPhone and want to use it after 2 in the afternoon. Recharge your gear wherever you are with its Waterproof USB Charger.”

u221a Waterproof LED Lights: “The party doesn’t stop just because the sun goes down, and you shouldn’t have to freeze your fingers searching endlessly for your favorite drink. The Coolest has Waterproof LED lights embedded in the lid so you can easily find what you’re looking for with the push of a button.”

u221a Gear Tie-Down: “The Coolest has you covered with locked in tie-down bungies, so you can carry all your stuff in just one trip.”

u221a Built-In Storage: “The Coolest helps out, almost like a picnic-basket, to make sure you always have a few key essentials with built-in storage for reusable plates/cutting-boards and this awesome, rust-proof ceramic knife.”

u221a Removable Divider: “Plus the removable divider gives you a whole new level of flexible packing options. You can pull the drain plug on one side and your Coolest can stay dry and cool just like your refrigerator. Say Goodbye to soggy sandwiches.”

u221a Wide Wheels: “Regular Cooler Tires are flimsy and sink right into the sand. We designed the Coolest wheels to be twice as wide to roll twice as easily.”

u221a Bottle Opener

Ryan’s Jedi Attention Hack: Go big on detailing the benefits your product and services offer. Go ahead, make your audience’s mouth water.

6: The “No-Brainer” Offer

Don’t just make an offer. Make your offer so irresistible that it’s a no-brainer for your tribe. After learning about all of the fun and benefits this invention gives me, Ryan finishes up by making an offer that’s hard to refuse.​ If you want to have a cooler with a blender, charger, divider, ceramic rust-proof knife, LED lights, and Bluetooth speaker that are all waterproof, it’d normally cost you over $500. And, let’s be honest,​ you’re not going to buy a waterproof USB charger just for your cooler.

Now that I have ​ ‘$500′ in my head, the actual price of $180 sounds like a complete no-brainer. I’d have to be an idiot not to spend $180 at this point!

Say it with me: “Jedi Attention Hack.”

“If you were to go out and buy all the gear we packed into the Coolest, it would cost you over $500. By backing this Kickstarter campaign for just $180, you can be one of the first people in the world with a Cooler that’s actually Cool.”

Now it’s your turn. Yes, reading this was fun and I hope it gave you a TON of ​ ‘Aha’ moments that will motivate you to create YOUR next Awesome video. So tell me, what was your favorite part of the video (you can see the whole video below), and what Attention Hack are you going to use? Comment below now, the whole Tribe would love to hear your genius insights 🙂

Ari – Marketing Awesomeness

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Ari Sherbill

VP Business Development @Powtoon. Ari's known as the "High Energy Guy" who currently advises Fortune 500 companies, Hollywood Studios and over 5,000 executives and business owners every month how to increase their leads, engagement and sales with Powtoon. He's spoken on stage with MGM, the Sands Hotel, 3M and Oracle. NASA referred to his strategies as "fresh and intriguing". Learn how to grow your sales and impact by following me on twitter: @AriSherbill


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