Fyre Festival & The Power Behind Influencer Marketing


With the debut of "Fyre Fraud" from Hulu and "Fyre" from Netflix, the devastating story of the infamous music festival reopens a horrific chapter of Billy McFarland's scheme to dupe Millennial and Gen Z-ers into buying tickets to the "event of a lifetime." Fyre turned out to be no less than a catastrophe, but the promotional efforts on behalf of Jerry Media point to the success of influencer marketing in the digital age.


Hundreds of intentionally selected influencers raised awareness of the exclusive VIP festival in the Bahamas by simply posting an orange square on Instagram, promoting 5,000 people to purchase $4,000 tickets to the event within 24 hours.


The situation that occurred from The Fyre Festival has proven that there is serious manpower behind social media influencers, even to the threat of consumers when combined with poor logistics and planning. Influencers gave their audiences and followers a false impression of the end product, showing just how important it is to keep integrity at forefront of each influencer marketing campaign. We've seen this time and time again on Instagram, where partnerships are intentionally undisclosed; however, social media is continuing to crack down on these relationships to protect consumers, according to Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines.


Fyre Festival isn't alone when it comes to effectiveness in social media and influencer marketing. Brands such as Off--White and Supreme, who rely on an image of exclusivity, garner trendy influencers and celebrities to promote their brand rather than using more traditional forms of marketing. And it's working! The two companies have become giants in the retail industry, showing off their massive brand power. Off-White has even been named the hottest fashion brand in the world.


So what can we learn from Fyre Festival?


  1. Influencer Marketing is highly effective - sometimes to the detriment of consumers if the end product is not as it appears. Transparency is key!

  2. It's essential to follow FTC guidelines, not only to protect your buyers but also to yourself and your brand.

  3. When Influencer and Celebrity Marketing are paired with the right public figure, although it may appear to be expensive, it has the ability to pay off in the end.

  4. Though influencers should do their due diligence, they are not responsible for the end result of a product or service.. It's crucial to have every aspect of your business plan mapped out before jumping into publicity and marketing. Fyre Festival should be a massive wake-up call to brands who plan to continue or begin implementing this marketing strategy

Now that everyone is raving about what could possibly go wrong, follow these basic guidelines, suggested by yours truly, to experience a successful influencer campaign.

  1. Connect with the right influencers. Choosing content creators who are already organically fans of your product, or something similar, always translates the best online. They are more authentic about product reviews and they gain trust from their followers.

  2. Be transparent with your influencers. Make sure they fully understand what it is that they will be promoting, so they can effectively exemplify your message.

  3. Talk to your influencers. When you comment and share influencer posts, they’ll be that much more excited about you and your partnership!

  4. Establish if the influencer will receive payment, products, or earn commission based on their follower purchases. These agreements must be mutually beneficial in order for it to be a successful campaign.

  5. Follow through. Do your part to deliver the products or services that you promised through these marketing efforts!

  6. Use an agency to facilitate influencer deals for you. They will be experienced in creating successful campaigns, making the RIGHT influencer-brand connections, and know the guidelines to keep both parties FTC compliant!

Interested in an influencer marketing campaign for your business? We’d love to get you on the right track! Shoot us a quick message so we can help you create a plan that’s right for you and your business!