A Brief History of Fiverr’s Out-of-Tune Marketing Campaigns


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Nebojsa "Nesha" Todorovic Hacker Noon profile picture

It has been almost five years since the last big-scale Fiverr’s marketing campaign that rubbed freelancers the wrong way.

I consider myself to be a fair player. That’s why I have to mention an honorable exception – Fiverr Super Bowl ad “Opportunity Knocks. Other than that one, to the best of my knowledge and good intentions, nada!

Now, before I shed more light on a story about how Fiverr Just Made a Whole Ad Campaign About Nothing, we need a quick reminder of the notorious “In Doers We Trust” 2017 marketing campaign.

What Were You Thinking, Fiverr?

I let ad posters for this campaign do (most) the talking here. Here’s the most “popular” one:

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What an interesting choice of words, don’t you think? You know that things have become serious when The New Yorker writes about the so-called gig economy. While we’re at it, here’s my favorite one:

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WTFiverr? Seriously? What’s this even supposed to mean?

Long and unpleasant marketing story short, here’s one of many articles to illustrate how people, freelancers, gigsters, or however you want to call or label them, felt about these ads – pretty vocally: People are not pleased with Fiverr’s deeply depressing advert.

Let’s wrap it up with an “artwork” from the NYC subway advertising jungle, if I’m not mistaken, which I found on JORGE RODRIGUEZ NIETO BLOG:

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We are done with Fiverr doers. Moving on.

Turn Nothing Into Something – by Fiverr

Here’s a link to the official Fiverr’s “Nothing” commercial on YouTube. Spoiler alert: it’s only sixty seconds long!

Here’s the explanatory text that goes with it:

Every successful something started from nothing. All you need is an idea that excites you and the desire to make it happen. Because with help from our freelancers—thousands of professionals across hundreds of different fields—everything is possible.

Since October 27, this video has got 578,871 views, 79 likes, 8 dislikes, and 11 comments. For the official Fiverr YouTube channel with 38.5K subscribers, that is – symbolic. When you hit on one of the links, you get this message:

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That’s deep, isn’t it? I checked out Twitter too.

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Fiverr has 362.3K Followers on Twitter, so… Honestly, I didn’t check what’s the situation on Facebook and Instagram. I am a writer, not a doer.

What’s the “general reception” and feedback? I don’t know; I’m not sure. I think we should give this campaign at least a month before making some definitive conclusions.

The Digital Alchemy for Remote Dummies

According to BusinessWire’s article about “a New Brand Campaign to Inspire People to Turn Their Dreams Into Reality,” here’s how Fiverr came up with their Something-From-Nothing-Win-Win formula:

In a recent study Fiverr conducted in partnership with YouGov that asked U.S. adults about starting a business, 25% of respondents revealed they had a business idea in the last 18 months; however, of the nearly 60 percent (59%) who never pursued their business idea, 58% said it was due to lack of resources. The new campaign addresses this issue, showing freelancers on Fiverr can help kickstart business ventures, and drives home the concept that anyone can take “nothing” and, with help from Fiverr talent, “do something” to bring that idea to life.

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Well, I don’t know about you, but if you want me to write you “something,” you have to pay me “something.” The last couple of lines are open to interpretations, to say the least:

“…anyone can take “nothing” and, with help from Fiverr talent, “do something” to bring that idea to life.”

So, the whole concept relies on Fiverr talents or as once used to call them – doers. They’re supposed to take “nothing” and make “something” out of it.

“We’re really flipping the script with this new campaign. While our last few campaigns showcased real businesses, this is focused on how Fiverr freelancers can support any business to grow, innovate, and succeed. All you need is to do something,” said Duncan Bird, Vice President of Brand Marketing & Digital at Fiverr.

OK. I get this part “all you need is to do something.” But again, the emphasis is ONLY on Fiverr freelancers.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Fiverr hasn’t changed their fees, one of the highest in the industry, since day one. It’s still 20%. Right? Fiverr’s clients pay the service fees too.

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Published by Milton Malone

What do I know about thermodynamics, marketing, and freelancing? I’m just a humble and overweight Noonies2021 nominee for the Critical Thinker of the Year. And, this is exactly what I did with this story; I shared my critical thoughts about Fiverr’s marketing campaigns, no more, no less. Vote for me to relieve stress. God Bless!

Nebojsa "Nesha" Todorovic Hacker Noon profile picture

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