Chen, Thomas and Kohli

What Really Makes a Promotional Campaign Succeed on a Crowdfunding Platform? Guilt, Utilitarian Products, Emotional Messaging, and Fewer but Meaningful Rewards, Drive Donations

Steven Chen, Sunil Thomas and Chiranjeev Kohli

California State University, Fullerton


  • Marketers and advertisers who use crowdfunding as a means to develop (and promote) new products may benefit from a framework that helps them achieve their funding goals.
  • Donations more likely will be higher if fund-raisers use guilt appeals in their Kickstarter campaigns.
  • Kickstarter campaigns that feature utilitarian products (as opposed to hedonic products) have higher donation levels.
  • Donations more likely will be higher if Kickstarter fund-raisers use an emotional message frame that emphasizes a positive state of being.
  • Kickstarter campaigns that deploy few meaningful reward categories more likely will be funded.