Forget the age of Aquarius – it’s the age of the influencer.
Thanks to the fiasco that was Fyre Festival and Netflix’s cunning documentary expose on the dark details of its demise, (or as it was titled, The Greatest Party that Never Happened), the entire Instagram population feels rather invested in the story, having been privy to the promotion of the event from the start.
We all remember hearing about the “not to be missed” experience from the likes of Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Kendall Jenner. We too now feel the burn and witnessed the power of the influencer, not to mention have learned the great responsibility that comes with such, influence…
If we could learn just one thing from the burn out of Fyre Festival; it is the straight up effectiveness of Influencer Marketing. Using nothing but an orange square to hype the upcoming festival; social media stars shone their spotlight enabling the festival to sell out just minutes after tickets were released. Bella Hadid, one of the 400 influencers hired to advertise the festival, has 22.7 M followers alone.
A simple Instagram post backing the event was enough for paying customers to believe the experience was credible and worth paying for. The power of celebrity has never been more apparent, but where does accountability lie when things go wrong?
Kendall Jenner (the highest tiered influencer involved) was reportedly paid $250,000 USD for one post on her Instagram announcing the launch of ticket sales. The industry is a lucrative one, there’s no denying that, with the market growing in size from 1.7bn in 2016 to 4.6bn by 2018.
Yet how far can we go to promote a event before actually confirming that said product is actualised and trust worthy? Who is at fault here? Not the influencers, that for sure. Brands hold liability when creating campaigns to ensure they deliver what is promised. It is the influencers decision whether they want to be associated with the promotion, but that’s where their obligations stop. In fact, Kendall went ahead and deleted her post as soon as things began to go sour. Problem solved.
When there’s smoke, there is Fyre and in this case the festival was burnt to shreds on social media, with tweets on Twitter going viral of the food served for festival punters. One twitter account worth mentioning is Trevo DeHaas’, who attended the event and took to live tweeting his reactions. This zeitgeist style reporting saw likes on his post of nearly 4,000 (with a following of just 300). #Trending: Social media was the fundamental reason Fyre festival flourished and in the end, flopped.
Just when we thought the story couldn’t get any better… This happened.
Event producer, Andy King came out of the Netflix documentary as the crowd favourite, with his memorable recount of preparing to “take one for the team” in order to have the festivals Evian water released.
With the internet taking off in delight, memes beginning to surface, Andy chose to use this fifteen minutes of fame for a fabulous cause, asking the public to donate to kickstarter and in the end, has raised over $220,000 for the caterer in the Bahamas who fed the panicked event goers out of her own pocket with no compensation. We applaud you Andy! Using your influence for the greater good, now that’s something we can get behind.
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