Did you know fans of sports icons, actors, actresses or other celebrities can hire a famous person to make a ‘Happy Birthday’ video for a friend or send a personal video message to that person in your life that needs a pick-me-up?
The Cameo app became available in 2017 and saw a large boost in light of the pandemic, when the world was looking for entertaining and socially distant ways of wishing loved ones a great day.
Celebrities like Nick Lachey, Snoop Dogg, Jon Lovitz and Mike Tyson all participate but none other than “The Office’s” Brian Baumgartner does it better. Baumgartner played Kevin Malone, fans favorite office accountant, in the sitcom about the daily lives of office workers and Cameo’s co-founder and CEO Steven Galanis recently revealed that Baumgartner earned a cool $1 million simply from sending personal videos to fans across the globe.
How Does Cameo Work?
According to Pocket-Lint, both celebrities and fans can sign up on the website or app for free, search for their favorite talent and check out their charge for DM’s and/or personal video messages. Baumgartner currently charges $199 per personal video message, but for example, Jon Lovitz only charges $2.99 for a text message.
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Request a message from your favorite celeb by paying the fee, filling out a short form about the occasion, provide instructions and details about you’re looking for. You can even add a short video explaining your request. The celebrity has seven days to respond before a refund is returned. There are no refunds for DM requests. Prices vary, but fans can expect a few hundred dollars for a personal video.
Who is Topping the Charts?
Carole Baskin, the intended murder victim from ‘Tiger King’ Joe Exotic’s show has reportedly made tens of thousands from her videos, but she’s turned down any requests regarding her missing husband.
Singer Debbie Gibson has earned six figures from her Cameo videos. The 80’s pop artist includes music in her greetings, giving fans a mini-concert.
“Lord of the Rings” star Sean Astin reported more than $163,000 in earnings from Cameo appearances. Generations of fans remember Astin from 1985’s “The Goonies” to early 2000’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. Besides, Astin takes home the award for longest average length for videos by six minutes, according to GoBanking Rates.
Kevin O’Leary of televisions “Shark Tank” operates one of the most expensive accounts, asking $1200 per video and earned nearly $200,000 in 2020.
What Makes Brian Baumgartner So Popular?
According to IGN, Galanis discussed Baumgartner’s success on The New York Times’ Sway podcast. “It’s his persona,” Galanis said. The reason so many enjoy “The Office” alums videos is the time and effort he puts into each one. In fact, Cameo offers a star rating system to let potential clients gage if the celebrity is responsive and if so, how happy they are with their previous purchases.
We already know Baumgartner is funny, but what’s surprised many, is his crafting of the perfect video for his fans. Galanis said it’s not uncommon for comedians to be most successful on the app, and Baumgartner’s reviews are positive and filled with applause. The pride and originality the star puts into each request is evident and Galanis says quality is important and truly resonates with fans.
“Holy bananas! I love this man so much! I can’t believe how much effort each of these must take him,” one fan said as reported by Ok! Magazine. Other fans thank him and remind him almost daily, of the impact he’s having for birthday surprises and extra special celebrations.
In order to make $1 million from Cameo videos, it’s estimated Baumgartner completed well over 5,000 videos in 2020 alone.
What is Baumgartner Doing Now?
A post shared by Brian Baumgartner (@bbbaumgartner)
Besides making thousands of Cameo appearances for fans across the globe, you can catch Baumgartner in various roles in “Hand of God”, “Good Behavior”, “Life in Pieces” and “The Goldbergs.” He married Celeste Ackelson in 2014 and welcomed a daughter in 2015. Baumgartner has one child with his ex-wife Julia Fisher.
Cameo’s aren’t the only videos the entertainer has been making. He hosted a 15-year, limited anniversary and mockumentary podcast “An Oral History of The Office”, featuring stars from the show, Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and others.
His sports-themed company, 3 Bees Entertainment, partnered with NBC Sports to create a documentary of sorts, “Golf Therapy: Life, Lessons and the Pursuit of Par” and a scripted comedy called “Turtle Racing”.
You may also find Baumgartner on the golf course. He’s participated in several celebrity golf tournaments, but in between the various television roles and golf outings, he’s connecting with his fans, one funny, personal video at a time.
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Sources: Pocket-Lint, GoBanking Rates, IGN, Ok! Magazine
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