8th February 2019 - No Comments!

Fyre Festival | The Power Of Influencer Marketing


The Fyre Festival was (arguably) one of the most hyped festivals in existence. It was trending everywhere, social influencers, celebrities, literally anyone with and without a platform was talking about it.

If you want to find out how a solid orange, 1080x1080 Instagram photo took over the internet in 2017, then this is the article for you.

Even though the Fyre Festival was a complete "disaster", "nightmare" and dubbed "an elephant of a cluster f@%k" by a Navy Seal you can't deny the fact that the concept and marketing strategy was incredible! Fyre Festival was sold on the dream of escaping, the fantasy of living in luxury for a short period of time. A taste of the good life, who wouldn't want that? Influencers like Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Emily Ratajkowski, G.O.O.D Music (The label created by Kanye West, signed with Big Sean, Pusha T and other globally recognised artists) were all behind the Fyre Festival.

A Quick Timeline Of The Fyre Festival:

- Billy and Ja Rule (Co-owners of Fyre) partner up to create a service that allows people to book artists for events easier than what was already available. The Fyre Festival was a marketing technique to sell a bigger brand, which was the Fyre Booking App.

- Billy gains an island previously owned by the infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar. Billy was warned about using Escobar's name in any promotional media used for the festival... the first video advertisement did the opposite of this and resulted in Billy and his crew being kicked off the island leaving them to need to find a new island with very little time.

- The crew find another island and get to work setting it up with little money and resources. Due to the lack of money, many of the workers resulted in not being paid.

- The event wasn't planned properly and caused false advertising to sink in. Luxuries the customers were promised never happened. Resources like water and food were limited.

- The event was cancelled and people were left stranded on an island in the Bahamas, a complete disaster.

The Marketing Strategy Breakdown:

Undeniably, the marketing strategy used was smart and impactful. The marketing and social team hired by Fyre, seriously knew how to make the most of social influencers. Their entire marketing blueprint was based around utilising this new form of online advertising.

Influencer marketing allows a brand to gain credibility by using people they trust to promote their products. By investing in the voice of trusted influencers, it allows an emotional connection to be made to a new brand and their target market. It can also be used to generate great content, photography and promote a specific lifestyle, in most instances an ‘aspirational’ one. This is what Fyre tapped into and where they greatly succeeded.

In an article posted by Social Media Today, it stated that 94% of marketers who use influencer marketing find it an effective practice and influencer marketing can generate up to 11x the ROI of traditional advertising. It also highlighted that for every dollar spent on an influencer, $6.50 is gained.

400 of the most influential people in the world, from models to comedians were used in the marketing of this service. An orange tile would be posted onto their account with the caption "#fyrefestival, join me @fyrefestival www.fyrefestival". The festival quickly started trending the tickets sold out in 48hrs of the festival being announced, which is an amazing milestone for a new, highly ambitious festival.

What do you get when you combine ten of the world's top models, on an exotic beach in the Bahamas in a short video blessed with graceful cinematic shots? Art, and a genius way of gaining money! The video was immersive, straight to the point, beautiful and the answer to many millennials cravings of "the good life". Traffic was being pumped into the Instagram page, the hype rapidly started increasing. There was so much hype around this brand that existing investors of Coachella - one of the biggest music festivals in the world - tried to stop the flow of money into Coachella and tried to make new partnerships with Fyre.

Fyre Festival absolutely nailed their Instagram feed, they stuck to one continuous art style, kept it simplistic and integrated eye-catching designs and colour. They had a clear brand image, which made it easy for people to recognise the brand without it even needing to be labelled with any sort of logo. Everything from the posts to the logo was perfect! It was clear and well thought out.

FOMO marketing was heavily used throughout the marketing strategy. The fear of missing out had a great impact on people and created the urgency to buy. Everyone wants to experience living in luxury, whether it be for a lifetime or a short period of time, Fyre Festival was the answer to that! It supplied the demand for this type of market, sadly, it couldn't fulfil its promise due to weak planning and other limiting factors.

Against all of the positives with their marketing technique, followed a lot of negatives. The dream, ambition and drive were like no other! Dreams, ambition and drive are great, however, dreams can quickly turn into delusions - something Billy and Ja Rule became susceptible to. They fell into the lifestyle trap they were trying to promote and spent countless hours partying, instead of nailing the key logistics in order to make the festival a success.

Unfortunately, due to this delusion, many associated influencers and industry specialists where tarnished and received major backlash from the public. Whilst there were many things wrong with the selling of this campaign, the influencers were not to blame. Their only downfall was not being transparent with their audience. Something the industry is rapidly clamping down on. By not advertising their involvement as endorsement, they left them selves susceptible to being directly associated with Fyre and the false advertising of the festival. When in fact they had no more knowledge of the Festival than those they were promoting too. Let this be a lesson to all influencers, be open about your involvement or pay the inevitable price!

The final nail in the coffin; Logistics 101

Most music festivals take about a year (or more) to plan and execute... Fyre Festival had six months. A newly found festival, with big ambitions and terrible planning, was a recipe for disaster.

Time, money and resources became scarce. Quickly. In desperation to pull the Fyre festival off,  Billy recelessley decided to turn to illegal options which, in turn, would ruin his reputation and Fyre along with it.

Billy was found guilty of wire fraud, money laundering, identity theft and obstruction of justice. This resulted in Billy being sentenced to 6 years in prison and agreeing to a lifetime ban on serving as a corporate officer or director. A promising entrepreneur, ruined by some insanely fatal flaws.

We would've loved to have seen this project been executed - and I'm sure many others would've too. But, the Fyre Festival is a great example of how poor planning and management can really destroy a business.

Published by: Vast Digital in Uncategorised

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