Comedian Jon Lajoie Uses Fake Kickstarter Project to Get Your Email Address

Comedian Jon Lajoie racked up a quarter million hits in the last couple days for his YouTube video outlining his idea for a Kickstarter project. The YouTube parody king is known for such works of art as “Everyday Normal Guy” and “Show Me Your Genitals.” Lajoie wants to piggyback off the success of Kristen Bell’s "Veronica Mars Movie Project" and Zack Braff’s "Wish I Was Here" Kickstarter projects. Those two projects raised $5.7 million and $3.1 million, respectively. How much does Lajoie want to raise? $500 million! Why? To become super rich!

Kristin Bell and Zach Braff have caught a decent amount of flak for their Kickstarter projects. Critics say that well-known names don’t need to raise money from fans; they can easily find the funding for their creative projects in the industry since they have the contacts that many up-and-coming indie filmmakers don’t have. However, what Bell and Braff want is creative control over their works, what people often refer to as final cut in the movie biz. Kickstarter even wrote in their blog that Blockbuster projects like those of Bell and Braff actually increase the funding to indie filmmakers on the site, bringing people onto the platform who previously never backed a Kickstarter project and who later browse the site to back other projects.

Unlike the real Kickstarter projects that are housed on Kickstarter’s website, Lajoie isn’t directing viewers to a Kickstarter page. He is directing people to his website to pledge hypothetical money to him, of which he has raised over $10 billion so far – not too shabby! His original goal was only $500 million and he still has 88 days to raise more money from his Internet audience. It helps that you can put in an amount under “other” instead of a measly $50 or $10,000 pledge. Many will think this whole gimmick is stupid, but it’s as smart as Internet marketing gimmicks come.

When you pledge, the “send me email updates” and “send me text message updates” boxes are default checked, meaning that Jon Lajoie is happily collecting thousands of email addresses to add to his growing online presence separate from any ad revenue he splits with Google on his YouTube video plays. Tricky? Yes. Genius? Of course. Lajoie is big enough in the YouTube and comedy world to get people to spend the time to donate fictitious amounts of money, but it’s harnessing that wasted time into marketing value that takes the cake for innovative online business prowess.