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Nothing says Mother’s Day like a personal email greeting from Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee.
Or a shout out, “You got this!” from Real Housewife Vicki Gunvalson to a young woman battling cancer.
Dennis Rodman moaned in a message to Chicago VC investor Kevin Willer that D-Rod hadn’t yet received an invitation to Mr.Willer’s SXSW party.
They are part of Chicago-based Cameo’s online platform where clients book personalized video greetings from a fast-growing roster of 3,000-plus athletes, musicians, actors, comedians, reality TV stars and social media influencers. Since it launched 17 months ago, Cameo has sent more than 50,000 messages crafted specifically for the recipient and addressing him or her by name for birthday messages, prom invitations, marriage proposals, baby gender reveals, coming-out-of-the-closet announcements, job offers, and even pep talks for occasions ranging from first days of school to theatrical debuts.
Cameo clients pick their celebrity and provide information about their recipient, occasion and personal characteristics (“Call him Love Bug, not Robert”). The celebrity sets the fee, and collects 75 percent while Cameo pockets 25 percent. Olympian figure skater Karen Chen will send good luck wishes for $7 while Brett Favre will shout out for $750. For $333, Draco Malvoy invited a team of bridesmaids on behalf of one bride, and Shangela of Ru Paul’s Drag Race is available for whatever at $125. Cameo says its average is $35.
Some celebs donate their fees: HQ Trivia’s Scott Rogowsky, for example, raised more than $10,000 for the National Multiple Sclerosis society in just 16 days through his participation.
The Cameo is recorded and a link sent to the client’s computer for download and resending as many times as desired. It never expires once downloaded, and unlike a greeting card, it doesn’t sit in a desk drawer.