Five Questions With: Ryan Buttie

Ryan Buttie is co-founder of Luminous Creative Agency, a Providence-based firm. The business recently made videos for two fundraising campaigns, which resulted in a jump in donations. In total, the group helped the startups raise about $1 million. Buttie talks with Providence Business News about the efforts and how video can help spur a fundraising effort.

PBN: How did Luminous get involved in these two fundraising efforts?

BUTTIE: Luminous Creative Agency was reached out to by Aqua Vault and Franklin Robotics when they were in search of a company that is able to create quality video content in a reasonable time period. These projects began with an in-depth conversation about Aqua Vault and Franklin Robotics needs and goals, in this case it was a video for a crowdfunding campaign. Our process follows four steps: Discover, strategize, create, and target. This gives us the opportunity to really understand the client’s product or service, apply that knowledge into a developed strategy, create the content for the campaign and ensure it reaches their target.

PBN: What’s the background of these two companies?

BUTTIE: Franklin Robotics of Massachusetts was started by Rory MacKean and Joe Jones (inventor of the Roomba). With their background in technology and robotics, they are a solid team with years of experience and minds focused on innovation. The company spent years researching and designing a robot that can weed your garden, Tertill. In spring 2017, the bugs were worked out and they were ready to start thinking about launching the product.

The Aqua Vault team of Florida [was] on “Shark Tank” during season six and negotiated a deal with Daymond John for a portion of the business. Their product allowed people to lock their valuables to almost anything like a beach chair or golf cart so they don’t have to worry about [them].

During the spring of 2017, they created a newer version with new features such as slash-proof material, cellphone charger and a movement-detection alarm. They were in need of funds for the initial manufacturing order size, and needed a solid crowdfunding campaign to get them to their goal.

PBN: How did your video help spotlight the campaigns?

BUTTIE: While the campaign language and branding [were] being built out, we were in the loop the entire time to develop the video component to the campaign that felt like the brand.

The video we created for Tertill received over 30 million views across the web after it instantly spread virally and was picked up by many large news sources such as Tech Insider, Mashable, CNET, Tech Crunch and DailyDot. The video was bringing people to the campaign pages rapidly and they had already raised half of their initial goal in just 48 hours.

Almost simultaneously, the Aqua Vault campaign was launched and received an incredible amount of attention from the main campaign video and the short versions we created for social media. Traffic from the video sources was the largest channel of individuals investing in the product.

PBN: How much money did the businesses end up raising?

BUTTIE: By the end of the campaigns, Franklin Robotics’ Tertill raised over $356,000 when their goal to start the manufacturing process was just $120,000. Aqua Vault’s campaign for FlexSafe raised more than $524,000. This is actually more than 20 times their initial goal of only $25,000. Both companies were impressed with the results and are currently in production of many more products than they initially anticipated for.

PBN: What does this tell you about using video as a means to spur fundraising efforts?

BUTTIE: Video is an extremely powerful component to any campaign, no matter what the goals are. In this case, it gave the viewer the opportunity to see the real value of the product and to see it in action. It captured an audience that was not necessarily looking to purchase anything and probably wouldn’t have found it by reading text.

Video can’t be ignored, and now it’s in everyone’s pocket on the go. Some businesses or organizations may be hesitant to invest in video so they can keep their marketing costs down, but the ROI [return on investment] on quality video content created by a team focused on strategy and results will easily bring more value to the campaign than any of the other components.

Bryan Roberts