Sexy cats, music players for pets and ‘invisible’ panties: The baffling world of the crowdfunding flop

Sexy cats, music players for pets and ‘invisible’ panties: The baffling world of the crowdfunding flop
Who doesn't love a good crowdfunding campaign? There’s something inspiring about the little guy giving it a go despite the odds, motivated only by a dogged determination and an unstoppable belief in the potential of his (or her) idea.

But let’s be honest. Not every campaign manages to inspire, not every product has a market and, of course, there are some pretty strange people out there, so it figures that, for every Kickstarter success story, there are going to be quite a few not-so-successful ones. 

So, in the spirit of both enquiry and morbid curiosity, let’s take a look at some recent low-profile crowdfunding campaigns that didn’t quite manage to find their market.

“The 2015 Cat Erotica Calendar”

Everyone loves cats, right? But where do you draw the line? That’s the unavoidable question implicit in the never-was 2015 Cat Erotica Calendar.

“Inspired by Betty Page”, this collection of frisky felines managed to secure the support of at least five desperate souls, perhaps motived by the campaign organiser’s assurance that “between myself and my friends I know some pretty loose cats”.

“PetPhone: The world's first personal music player for pets”

Who among us hasn’t experienced the frustration of trying to attach regular iPhone ear buds to the family pet? By all accounts it’s a pretty common complaint.

Refusing to be thwarted, these would-be crowdfunders did their research and, on discovering that pets have entirely different shaped ear canals to people (surely a ‘Eureka’ moment if ever there was one), developed the PetPhone, “the world’s first personal music player for pets”.

The PetPhone team was rewarded with an unexpectedly healthy $10,112 in pledges for their efforts, unfortunately falling short of their ambitious (some would say too ambitious) target of $196,000.

Still better than Beats by Dre, though.

“A good photograph of President Barack Obama, big and bold”

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but talk is cheap if this Kickstarter project is anything to go by.

Finding himself in the possession of a pretty sweet Barack Obama photo (snapped during a re-election rally in Bolder, Colorado, 2012), George Willis Doty hoped making some big prints and funding them online might translate into big dollars.

Shepard Fairey he is not however, with the campaign failing to hit Doty’s $500 target by a mere $500.

Baba Invisible Panties

Few would argue that­—in some circumstances at least—invisible underwear might be a pretty good idea.

Despite that strong foundation however, the San Francisco-based team behind Baba Invisible Panties manages to remove logic, comfort and good taste from the discussion in a single blow.

Bonus points awarded for repeated use of the Alasdair Thompson-approved euphemism “special women's days”.

--

It’s not all desperation and absurdity, of course. Crowdfunding can be an excellent platform for organised, savvy entrepreneurs, and we’ve got the inside skinny! To find out more, visit the Idealog crowdfunding trending topic portal here