California gubernatorial candidate Caitlyn Jenner costs $ 2,500; actor Chuck Norris, $ 450. Former Alaska Governor and Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin is going for $ 199.
But one of the biggest deals is former Utah congressman Jason Chaffetz, now Fox News contributor and author of the new book “They Never Let a Crisis End.”
It is $ 45. You can barely feed a family at Five Guys for this.
Meet the curators at Cameo, the company that allows fans to connect with their favorite celebrity, commentator, or athlete, for a fee. Founded in 2017, the company says its mission is “to enable the most personalized and authentic fan connections in the world.”
On the Cameo website, fans can search for their favorite celebrities, then pay to get a personalized video of the star saying whatever they ask them to say. Some personalities also offer the option of sending a message of up to 250 words for a lower cost, although a response is not guaranteed. Chicago Bears cornerback and former Ute Jaylon Johnson, for example, offers a video for $ 50 and a direct message for $ 7.99.
The product has been likened to a singing telegram for the digital age (and yes, Chaffetz will sing for you or for your mom). But the founders say the platform is more important than that for the famous and their followers. Co-founder Steven Galanis said that as people get more famous, they have fewer opportunities to interact with fans. “The bigger you get, you kind of lose that connection with people. So that’s what we’re trying to figure out, ”Galanis told Morning Brew writer Alex Hickey.
Cynics might say that some of Cameo’s 30,000+ people might be there just to make some money. The service has been derided as a source of income for unemployed “D-list” actors whose talents are no longer needed in Hollywood. But Galanis said he doesn’t rank artists, telling writer Patrick Sauer: “A person’s D-List is someone else’s favorite person in the world.
And some celebrities, including singer Jon Bon Jovi ($ 5,000) and journalist Gretchen Carlson ($ 75), donate all of their profits to charity.
Here’s a look at some of the curators who show up on Cameo, along with some other names you might recognize. Mother’s Day, after all, is only a few days away.
Best wishes and good wishes
Chaffetz, who represented Utah’s 3rd Congressional District from 2009 to 2017, is a newcomer to Cameo, having joined the service a month ago. He said he got interested after seeing fellow Fox colleagues Tomi Lahren ($ 90) and judge Jeanine Pirro ($ 249) on the site.
Most of the requests were for birthdays, anniversaries and, on occasion, best wishes for someone recovering. He had to turn down a few people who requested product endorsements. And, “There were some smart alecks in there that tried to make me say something stupid, and one of them tried to make me say something offensive, and I just said no and rejected. “
Cameo allows its personalities to set their own rates, of which the company takes 25%, and they can decline requests at their discretion.
“It’s fun, and I gave several hundred dollars to a charity,” said Chaffetz, who said he gets one or two requests a day.
While there is no category for former politicians, Chaffetz falls under the Cameo category of “commentators,” which also introduces himself to Sean Spicer ($ 199), the former press secretary and chief communications officer. President Donald Trump, and Corey Lewandowski ($ 70), a Trump campaign advisor.
There does not appear to be any members of Trump’s immediate family on Cameo, although there are several Trump impersonators, as well as Sens impersonators. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., And Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.
Misuse and trolls
While much of the content generated by the creators of Cameo is light and upbeat – as Chaffetz sings birthday wishes and talks about the importance of family and the greatness of the United States – some use of the service seems to transcend ethical lines.
The Orange County Registry reported last year that Lahren and Lewandowski recorded videos of Cameo for California GOP congressman Greg Raths, which were shared on social media and interpreted by some as official statements of support. (Lahren later said through a Fox spokesperson that she did not allow the video to be used in this manner, the newspaper reported.) Raths, who lost in November to to outgoing Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, eventually removed the videos after the newspaper reported.
Some people have bought Cameo videos in order to troll personality. Someone who purchased a video of Lahren subsequently posted a five-star review in which they also included a line insulting Trump. (Lahren is a Trump supporter.) And last year, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie filmed a video of Cameo encouraging a person called Greg to return home to New Jersey.
Greg, as it turned out, was Greg Gianforte, a Republican presidential candidate from Montana, The New York Times reported. His opponent’s campaign had requested the video, which they posted on Twitter. Christie, whose going rate on Cameo is $ 200, is currently listed as “temporarily unavailable” on the site.
Peter Loge, director of the Ethics in Political Communication project at George Washington University, said buying Cameo videos to use them in a campaign is “sad, but not necessarily unethical.” .
“If I was a campaign manager and someone came to me and said, ‘Let’s get Larry Wilcox from CHiPs to approve us for $ 50,’ I would suggest the staff member consider finding a other area of work, ”said Loge. Knowingly selling an endorsement is ‘politically insane’, ”he added.
While there may be some swamp-like elements in Cameo, for the most part it has been received as a unique way to connect with a celebrity you admire, or to get a unique greeting for a member of the family or friend.
Do you know anyone who liked the movie “Twilight”, the musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” or the television show “Little House on the Prairie”? Ashley Greene who played “Alice” in Twilight is $ 65; Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in “Superstar” is $ 139; and Melissa Gilbert, Laura Ingalls of “Little House,” is $ 150.
There is a full lineup of athletes, including former and current members of the Utah Jazz.
And Cameo doesn’t discriminate against cash. One of the most popular offers in the “animals” category is Esther the Wonder Pig, the star of several books. It only costs $ 45 too. But for the money, Chaffetz sings better.