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How Fran Drescher became one of Cameo’s most popular celebs

June 23, 2021, 10:45 PM UTC

It’s truly a sign of the modern era when a short clip of Fran Drescher and Rosie O’Donnell celebrating a Mahjong victory generates over 100,000 views in a single day.

The Nanny actor and president of the Cancer Schmancer non-profit explained on Wednesday during Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Next Gen virtual summit how the rise of social media services has changed celebrity publicity, making it possible for actors to quickly build connections with fans like never before. She shared the stage with Cameo CFO Deb Schwartz, who explained that Drescher has become one of the most sought after celebrities on the site, which lets users pay for short, personalized video messages from celebs.

This past Monday, for instance, someone happened to be filming Drescher and her Mahjong teammate O’Donnell hamming it up after a big win. Clearly amused by her Mahjong celebration, Drescher posted the video on Instagram. Soon after, Cancer Schmancer executive director Susan Holland told Drescher that the video topped the 100,000 mark, which surprised Drescher because she “just posted it yesterday.”

“So, you know, that’s meaningful,” Drescher said. “And it’s, you know, it helps my brand.”

She said that social media services represent “kind of a new PR” for celebrities like herself who are not only maintaining their entertainment careers, but also engaging in projects and organizations intended to promote social good. 

“I really think that it’s a really exciting time,” Drescher said. “It’s making the whole world a smaller place and making the accessibility of the celebrity something that really translates into monetary success, and the advancement of raising consciousness too.”

Drescher’s other social media activities include her involvement with Cameo.

For $500, fans can ask the actor to create short, custom Cameo video messages in which Drescher will do things like wish friends a happy birthday or congratulate employees for a successful project. Recently Drescher said a husband asked her to create a video message to his wife telling her that he’s agreed to get a family dog as part of the couple’s 20-year wedding anniversary.

But, if fans want Drescher to create a video message in which she adopts the persona of The Nanny’s Fran Fine, “that’s going to cost a little more.”

Cameo recently raised $100 million and has a private valuation of over $1 billion, making the startup a so-called unicorn. Part of Cameo’s next steps is to expand out of the U.S. and become “a global business,” Schwartz said. Currently, Cameo is “in about 130 countries,” she added. “We really have an opportunity to make this a global marketplace where talent like Fran should be able to reach her global fan base, and we can do that through Cameo,” Schwartz said.

Drescher also shared her dream picks for celebrities (dead or alive) that have yet to join Cameo, an unusual but fascinating pairing, to say the least: Brad Pitt and Eleanor Roosevelt.

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