The ‘Trump Baby’ has taken flight, generating headlines across the globe from it’s position precisely 20ft above London’s Parliament Square.
The controversial inflatable ascended into the capital’s skies on the first morning of Donald Trump’s two-day working visit to the UK, backed by almost 2,000 supporters on Crowdfunder to the tune of £31,000 at the time of writing.
The protest was splashed on the front page of almost every major news website in the world and trended for hours on social media, generating in excess of 50,000 tweets against the #TrumpBaby hashtag.
“We wanted it to be accessible to people,” said charity worker Daniel Jones who was speaking to The Drum.
“We knew it would have a lot of support from around the world and that people would want to be involved, and crowdfunding was one of the great ways to do it.”
It certainly was and it didn’t go unnoticed in the White House, drawing a response from the President himself on the eve of his visit.
“I guess when they put out blimps to make me feel unwelcome, no reason for me to go to London,” he told The Sun newspaper.
“I used to love London as a city. I haven’t been there in a long time. But when they make you feel unwelcome, why would I stay there?”
Crowdfunder allows people to congregate around causes, giving individuals the same clout as big lobby groups or corporations by uniting them behind the things that matter most to them.
“This is an important moment for us,” said Simon Deverell, co-founder at Crowdfunder.
“That’s not just because of the political statements that are being made,” he added.
“It’s further evidence that the power of the crowd, by harnessing crowdfunding to bring people together, can propel people into the heart of the debate as today’s demonstration proves beyond doubt.
“Most importantly, it’s worked for ‘both sides’ of the coin with copy-cat campaigns springing up protesting against the Mayor and even the badger cull. Whatever matters most to people.”
The huge press attention that has swirled around the blimp in the lead up to the event sparked a counter protest featuring the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
More than 3,000 people rushed to support an alternative balloon, raising over £50,000 inside five days in defence of Trump.
Andy Medd, the co-founder of Broody and partner at Mother – who acquired a 5% stake in Crowdfunder at the end of last year – said #TrumpBaby represents exactly how crowdfunding can turn a social project into a brand in itself, or test a campaign along the metric of audience engagement.
“I think it’s a brilliant idea … and it’s a classic piece of branding,” he said.
“This is a modern way of connecting with an audience in a really engaged way.
“Crowdfunding … is an amazing new way of lobbying, fundraising and brand building. It’s the new marketing tool.
“If a brand or a business can’t do a crowdfunding campaign then it’s probably got the wrong marketing strategy or the wrong targeting strategy.”