Cait & Joel discuss influencer's role in Fyre Festival. Who was responsible? What does this mean for the future of influencer marketing? HINT: vet your people!
The majority of the talent involved in Fyre that reporters are calling “influencers” are really just celebrities. Influencers can become celebrities but celebrities are not influencers. Celebs have little to no connection to their audience nor the brands they promote, and the marketing play here was simply widespread celebrity endorsement.
For the celebrities involved — where was your management? Talent managers are expected to vet a product, brand, & company before allowing their talent to endorse them. It is more likely that influencers know the track record of the brand they are going to work with because it is normally one they are familiar with and have used before - the reason influencer campaigns are authentic storytelling, and this campaign… well, was not. In Fyre’s promotional campaign, celebrity managers dropped the ball when it came to vetting, and the celebrities were merely there for the deal.
Fyre Festival was not an indication of the “fall” of influencer marketing. In fact, it proved that when it comes to a marketing effort aimed at attracting thousands of people to a private island no one has ever heard of to a brand new festival, even fraudulent hosts like Billy McFarland and Ja Rule know that brand advocacy is the key to success — they only missed the ball when hiring celebs to do it instead of influencers — a choice that led to only 8,000 ticket sales out of the 40,000 estimated.