What Does the Fyre Festival Fail Mean for Influencers?
Unless you've been living under a rock for the last couple days, I'm sure you've heard of the extravagant fail that is the Fyre Festival.
Billed as a cornucopia of luxury with promises to host “the greatest artists in the world,” wealthy festival goers shelled out upwards of $250,000 for VIP group packages to experience what was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity on a private island in the Bahamas, which was once a hot spot for infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar. Instead, upon arrival, they were greeted with little to no shelter, sandwiches comprised solely of bread and cheese, and overcrowded sleeping quarters with no staff in sight. You can read more about this disaster in The New York Times.
Fyre: Built by Influencers
Promoted by notable influencers including Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Bella Hadid and Emily Ratajkowski, Fyre became the talk of the town over the last few months as wealthy millennials started planning their post-Coachella trip. Even Kendall Jenner promoted the festival—although the Instagram photo is now deleted—and was paid a quarter of a million dollars to do so according to a Fyre Festival employee.
Influencers: Killed by Fyre?
What does the Fyre Festival fail mean for the future of influencers? Influencer campaigns are one of the most used marketing strategies in the industry with some brands spending millions every year to have the right people talking about their products in front of their followers. These campaigns are especially effective with studies proving that millennials trust peer reviews and endorsements more than direct brand advertising and messaging. They see it as being more authentic and reliable.
Does the Fyre Festival fail pull back the curtain and expose the dirty truth about influencer campaigns to the otherwise naive millennial? The truth being that it doesn't matter how credible the product (or event) is, if they have the money an influencer will take it and promote it. What all these kids through were enthusiastic announcements about the person's next trip with friends was, in reality, just another business transaction. They are nothing more than another cog in the advertising wheel.
Will we see a decline in the trust levels of influencers? Only time will tell but I'm predicting that we'll see a dramatic change in the industry. Maybe instead of big ticket influencers, like celebrities, I think we'll see a rise in the number of average Joes and people who are more relateable and who would be more skeptical of who they choose to do business with.
Either way, Fyre Festival is one for the books!