We first announced the plush to our fans using our mailing list, which immediately got a good reception, this also extended to our prior Kickstarter backing audience. Since we didn’t know when we were going to launch yet, we started doing photoshoots of the owlbear and used the hashtag #OwlbearPlush and #OwlbearAdventures in combination with other, more popular tags, to gain notice. Having a decent-sized audience at this point on social also helped in getting noticed.
As the blocking projects completed, and the crowdfunding campaign launch date was set, we did an open call and hired several artists to illustrate their version of the owlbear plush. Artists retained the rights to their pieces but granted us the right to use for marketing as well as the rights to use it in an Owlbear Artbook, if one was to be created.
And finally, notify-on-launch, is absolutely the most important part to launching the campaign. Almost every week, I would post the pre-launch campaign page to get more followers for the project. When it came time to launch we had over 800 project followers.