This rent-a-minor-celeb app is blowing up

Cameo, a service that lets you pay D-list celebrities in exchange for personalized videos, is having a moment.


April 20, 2020

Photo via Cameo

For the rich and mildly famous, quarantine is fueling a new gig economy. B-, C-, and D-listers everywhere are flocking to Cameo, an upstart platform where you can pay a celebrity to film personalized videos for your friends or family. 

They’ll tell your inside jokes, deliver your marriage proposals, wish your weird uncle happy birthday. 

Some, like the former NFL player Leonard Marshall, will even dish out personal hygiene tips: “I need you to play defense in these crazy times. Sanitize. Wash your hands.”

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It’s the Ken Bone comeback

Cameo isn’t new — it launched in 2017 with $500k in seed funding — but quarantine is bringing it to new heights. In March, the app saw a 30% bump in video postings. 

The app features an assortment of viral figures trying to cash in on their 15 minutes of fame: Ken Bone, who became an internet sensation for asking a question during a 2016 presidential debate, Kevin from “The Office,” and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Some of the… can we really call them celebrities?… are turning to Cameo to make up for lost income with so many events canceled. 

Others don’t really need the money — they just have nothing better to do.

The quarantine soundtrack comes from Akon’s parked car

Akon — of “Smack That” and “Right Now (Na Na Na)” fame — just joined the service because he “wanted to keep busy” in quarantine, according to VICE. He records videos from his car. His price: $444. 

But be vigilant: Book too big of a name, and your bank account might kick into overdraft. A 21-second video from Caitlyn Jenner will cost you $2,500

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