“Basically I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet.”
Earlier this month, a Kickstarter project materialised on the internet that ended up capturing the hearts, minds and wallets of thousands of people around the world. What was this revolutionary idea – perhaps some sort of incredible new innovation to improve our lives for the better? Or was it to help one man achieve his dream of making a pretty ordinary potato salad? Ding ding.
With an initial funding goal of $10, Zack “Danger” Brown of Columbus, Ohio in the States has managed to raise over $50,000 in the course of three weeks, somehow wrangling dollars out of strangers on the internet all around the world.
Call it a joke, call it a mockery of the platform or whatever you will – what is it about this outrageously mundane project that has sparked such an intense reaction from the internet, and such a frenzy for esteemed media publishers such as Forbes, CNET and the Atlantic to nut out “the secret” as to why it’s been so successful?
What is interesting about Brown’s project is the way in which it leverages the known genres of the Kickstarter platform (usually used to push creative projects with lofty ideals, start up businesses with the same) to both elevate a relatable, inoffensive and everyday undertaking to an almost majestic status. At the same time, Brown’s language is short, understated and very ordinary – which counterintuitively works to the project’s advantage.
What can we learn from the Potato Salad project from a content perspective? Tapping into what your audiences love and why they love it is almost always simpler than you think. Give them something familiar, add a tasty twist and they’ll love you for it. And just when you think everything has been done, you’ll be proven wrong. Platforms can be questioned, teased and flipped upside-down and inside-out. Almost like a potato salad.