Did you get an e-card featuring notorious boxer Mike Tyson chatting with a pigeon and wishing you “Happy New Year”? No? Well, then none of your friends took advantage of a West L.A. startup’s latest celebrity client.
Maybe next year, as StarGreetz is planning to expand its reach through Facebook.
The company makes e-cards, ring tones and advertisements with personalized messages from recognizable figures, such as former pro quarterback Joe Namath and “Austin Powers” star Verne Troyer.
In coming weeks, the company will also begin sending personalized videos to each of the celebrities’ Facebook fans, said StarGreetz Chief Executive Eric Frankel, a former Warner Bros. executive. That could mean millions of fans – the kind who would be most likely to buy such offerings.
“We have a large megaphone to speak into,” Frankel said.
StarGreetz has 20 employees and has been around since early 2010. It brings celebrities into a studio to record about 800 names along with ad tag lines, gags and greetings.
The company then sells greetings cards mashed up from the recordings and ring tones for $2.99 to 99 cents. The celebrities get a cut of sales.
The more recently recorded celebrities, like Tyson, also include information about their upcoming public engagements, for example, or a TV show’s
The company uses a proprietary technology to customize the recordings to address each e-card recipient. For the Facebook videos, the technology will identify a person’s name and location to make the promos as targeted as possible, Frankel said. At the end of each, a StarGreetz ad will run.
The new venture is changing how Frankel targets celebrities. He’s now looking for those with at least 1 million Facebook fans.
“We’re continuing to raise the bar on popularity,” he said. “Which is why we like Mike.”